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Five-Minute News 11/29/21: What Do We Know About Omicron?

Five-Minute News 11/29/21: What Do We Know About Omicron?

If you have five minutes, Meidas Touch and Anthony Davis have your morning news update. Today’s edition of Five-Minute News is particularly health-focused, as the newest COVID-19 variant is studied across the globe.

[Image via Evergreen Podcasts]

With every new variant of the virus, scientists race to answer the same series of questions. How do symptoms and severity compare to previous variants? Is the transmissibility increased? Are the currently-available vaccines still effective against this strain? How far has this strain already spread, and would any new measures be effective and/or necessary to contain it?

Monday’s edition of the Five-Minute News, which you can watch in full below, covers what experts believe so far about the answers to each of these questions with regard to the Omicron strain.

At this point, experts believe that people infected with the Omicron variant exhibit milder symptoms, but are still trying to determine whether it has a higher transmissibility rate than previous variants. Dr. Anthony Fauci has said that it will take a few weeks to have definitive answers about transmissibility and other specifics. However, evidence so far suggests that about half of sufferers are unvaccinated, and that this variant is affecting patients aged 40 and younger — while earlier variants seemed to be harsher on older patients.

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The variant, first seen in South Africa, has now been identified in Australia, Belgium, Botswana, Britain, Denmark, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, France, and Canada as well. Travel bans have been proposed or implemented in several nations, including the United States.

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