The Omicron Variant and What You Need to Know

By Carolina Boyd, Communications Associate

A new year is upon us but the COVID-19 worries that marked 2020 and 2021 continue to impact the United States, as well as the greater Houston area. That is because of omicron, a newer variant of SARS-COv-2 that was first reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) in November of this year. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the omicron variant is now the dominant strain of the coronavirus within the United States, even displacing the previously dominant Delta variant.

Part of the reason for that is that omicron has a large number of mutations, which makes the virus more transmissible that other COVID-19 variants that have previously circulated. The CDC expects that anyone with omicron has the ability to spread the virus to others, even if they have been vaccinated or don’t have any of the traditional COVID symptoms.

Despite that, the current slate of available COVID-19 vaccines are expected to protect against severe illness, hospitalizations, and deaths due to infection from the omicron variant. The prominent symptoms associated with omicron are cough, fatigue, congestion and a runny nose. The loss of taste and smell appears to be a less common symptom with the omicron variant.

The best defense against the omicron, delta or any other COVID-19 variant has remained the same since when the pandemic began almost two years ago. Those methods include:

  • Getting vaccinated and boosted once eligible
  • Wearing a mask when out in public
  • Socially distancing while indoors
  • Avoiding indoor crowds
  • Washing your hands

At Legacy Community Health, we are offer both COVID-19 vaccines and boosters at many of our clinics and locations and at no cost. To learn more about how you can get a vaccine contact your Legacy provider or call 832-548-5000 to schedule an appointment.