Much like Delta, Omicron is now spreading rapidly and becoming the number one strain of COVID-19 in the United States.
There have been a higher number of newly reported cases daily, many of which are the Omicron strain.
Many Americans are finding themselves changing their Christmas plans at the last minute due to the evidence of higher transmissibility than in past strains.
Related: How many waves of coronavirus pandemic will there be? What is long COVID in Omicron variant?
This strain also poses a greater risk of reinfection for those that have already had COVID-19.
Experts are most worried about hospitalization rates. While there’s little evidence yet to show this strain is more severe, more people falling ill all at once can fill hospitals to capacity.
Many elective procedures like cancer screenings, hip and knee replacements are being cancelled.
People who need medical care outside of COVID may not get the attention they need.
Related: Omicron now makes up 73% of all COVID cases: Are at-home tests accurate? What should you do after testing positive?
What does Omicron look like for children?
Right now experts are focusing on whether or not Omicron can cause a more severe infection in children.
In South Africa evidence seems to show that the impact of Omicron in children is the same as Delta.
The number dropped to 192 per day, but is now increasing again.
Thankfully there have been no reports of an increase in severity among children or adults when it comes to Omicron.
Many who have been infected are claiming that the Omicron strain is more mild, but the World Health Organization is urging people not to take that information at face value until more studies are complete.
Children over the age of 5 are currently eligible for two doses of the Pfizer vaccine, and 16 and 17-year-olds are eligible for the booster.
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