Springfield health executives explain new COVID-19 variant; how it can affect society
Springfield health executives explain new COVID-19 variant;  how it can affect society

Springfield health executives explain new COVID-19 variant; how it can affect society

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – There are new concerns about a COVID-19 variant spreading in China and the United Kingdom.

CoxHealth’s Internal Medicine Hospitalist Dr. Sarah Smitherman says the Omicron variant has two types. BA1 is what we saw in society several months ago. BA2 is what is becoming prominent in other countries around the world.

“As we know with COVID, it may continue to change, and how it affects one population does not necessarily mean that it will affect our population in the same way,” says Dr. Smitherman. “But we see it and we will be prepared if it comes this way.”

Dr. Smitherman says that while there is concern about increased difficulty with this variant, there is not enough data to support it.

Dr. Smitherman says it makes it hard to predict when it could hit southwestern Missouri, or how bad it could be.

“I do not know for sure that a new variant will hit Springfield, Missouri, but it is certainly an option,” says Dr. Smitherman. “We have seen these waves and it is reasonable to believe that these waves will be sustained, but one thing we have is knowledge. We have two years of knowledge on how to prepare and staff and care for patients.”

The Springfield-Greene County Health Department reports seven-day daily average as 15 cases. The lowest in 2021 was 16. Despite hopes for continued low numbers, Aaron Schekorra of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department says they have learned from past increases and are prepared for what may come next.

“The ability to have this pause, to have these small print, to look back on how we reacted, what happened throughout our society under these circumstances, to have this time to look back and reflect and make these adjustments is real valuable, “Schekorra says.

Schekorra says vaccination is an important way for people to protect themselves. That is why the Ministry of Health encourages people to not only get their initial doses but also the booster.

“We do not know what is coming,” says Schekorra. “We do not know if another variant would evolve if it would have the more severe outcomes like the delta variant or be more transferable like the omicron. Since we can not really say what is coming down the pipeline, we want to use those tools. , we have at our disposal. “

The National Board of Health offers further COVID-19 test options next week so people can be tested after any spring break. A test site will also be offered on Tuesday, March 22 for students from all the local high schools. It will be held at the Plaster Student Union on the Missouri State University campus from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m.

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