Surviving the Omicron surge; breaking down Mayo Clinic’s COVID-19 community forum

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT)-  Doctors at Mayo Clinic Health System say it’s not easy keeping up with the COVID-19 pandemic, one reason why today they addressed the public with a community forum.

The COVID-19 pandemic, where do we go from here, that is the theme of the forum.

Mayo Clinic Health experts not only broke down the current state of the pandemic but took a look into the future

The Omicron variant hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down here in the United States.

“We have widespread exponential transmission nationwide,” said MCHS Southwest Wisconsin Vice President, Paul Mueller.

The highly infectious variant is less severe than others, but experts say’s also more transmissible.

People not following CDC guidelines face serious risks.

“Unvaccinated persons clearly have higher risks of testing positive, being hospitalized, and dying of COVID-19,” said Mueller.

The Omicron variant has pushed case numbers in the U.S. to new highs.

Still, new research is giving the health experts at Mayo Clinic, hope.

“In South Africa, the Omicron surge peaked within 4 weeks and came down quickly, and in the UK compared to the previous week., last week the number of cases has started to decline, it was 13% lower than the previous week,” said Mayo Clinic Infectious Disease Specialist, Dr. Raj Palraj.

With so many people getting infected so quickly, Mayo Clinic experts say the COVID-19 pandemic could turn into an endemic.

“It is a possibility that even the unvaccinated if they get the Omicron infection, hopefully, they have a mild infection and recover, and if they have immunity that will help this virus to become endemic and we will have herd immunity,” said Palraj.

Mayo Clinic Doctors urge people to get vaccinated and get booster shots.

As far as getting 4th dose, it’s too early to tell.

“So what about the 4th dose? The answer is we really don’t know that yet,” said Mayo Clinic Infectious Disease Specialist, Dr. Abinash Virk.

During the forum the Mayo Clinic Experts made it clear that this virus has been very unpredictable and just because their research says one thing now, things could be different later down the road.

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