New COVID-19 Variants and What You Need to KnowMonday, December 26th, 2022, 1:31 am
With the holiday season in full swing, many people are planning to visit family and socialize in the coming weeks. But, concern over COVID-19 can quickly dampen the festive mood. In this article, we’ll discuss new COVID-19 variants and what you need to know to prevent infection all season long.
The COVID-19 virus is constantly evolving, leading to several different variants over the past few years. Currently, Omicron is still considered the primary strain of COVID-19 in the United States. However, Omicron has several subvariants, including:
What Do I Need To Know About COVID-19 Variants?
The Omicron subvariants don’t differ greatly in the severity of symptoms that they cause. However, patients who received a previous version of the COVID-19 vaccine won’t be as effectively protected against the Omicron subvariants. This is because the vaccines have since been updated to identify Omicron’s unique structure.
Getting the COVID-19 BA.5 booster shot can help protect you against infection this holiday season. Vaccines also help prevent the formation of more COVID-19 variants.
More COVID-19 Tips For This Holiday Season
- Get a COVID-19 test before and after attending holiday get-togethers and traveling. This is especially important for those visiting elderly and immunocompromised individuals.
- Practice excellent hand hygiene and use hand sanitizer after touching communal surfaces.
- Wear a face mask in crowded areas and public indoor spaces.
- If you’re feeling unwell or were recently in close contact with someone with COVID-19, celebrate at home.
- Avoid sharing utensils, plates, and glasses.
- Consider celebrating outdoors whenever possible. Increased circulation reduces your risk of catching the virus.