What You Should Know About the New COVID-19 Omicron Variant

The Omicron variant of COVID-19 is the latest variant of this virus to be reported. The WHO, on 26th November 2021, classified it as a variant of concern (VOC). This variant has developed because of mutations in the COVID-19 virus that have changed how the virus behaves.

What do we know So Far?

Initial findings show the Covid-19 Omicron Variant could be less severe than the Delta variant. It was first discovered in South Africa. Scientists are in top gear to gather as much information as possible about this variant.

Uncovering information about genetic changes in Omicron, its speed of spread, the effect of vaccination, and how it presents in patients is critical to help fight its spread.

The WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is cautioning countries around the world not to treat this variant as “mild” but to employ all the known methods to prevent its spread.

New variants, such as the Covid-19 Omicron Variant, remind us that the COVID-19 pandemic is still with us. People should get vaccinated and booster doses to prevent severe COVID-19 disease.

Also, people should follow the existing guidelines on limiting the spread of COVID-19, such as wearing masks, physical distancing, and frequent hand washing.

Is This Variant More Contagious?

Preliminary evidence shows that the Omicron Variant is spreading faster than others. The good news is vaccination and other precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 that have been effective against other variants of this virus will help mitigate Omicron.

How Is Omicron Affecting the Vaccinated vs. Non-vaccinated?

COVID-19 vaccines are the ideal public health measure to protect the masses from infections, severe disease, and death.

Breakthrough infections are less likely to occur in persons who are fully vaccinated, as with other variants of COVID-19. They are effective at preventing hospitalizations, severe illness, and deaths.

The emergence of the Covid-19 Omicron Variant highlights the significance of vaccination and booster doses.

Get vaccinated today to help mitigate the risks of COVID-19 infection. If you’re already vaccinated, you’re encouraged to get a booster dose. Visit West Oakland Health to get vaccinated. Call (510) 835-9610 to make an appointment.


Long-Term Care Month

west oakland health - long term care

National Long-Term Care Awareness Month is an annual designation observed in November. Did you know that 70% of men and women over the age of 65 will need some kind of long-term care service? This kind of care can be very expensive and can take a toll on the family as they try to figure out payment, roles of family members, and other logistics of making long-term decisions for a loved one. When taking care of someone long-term, it usually means feeding them, helping with personal care, bathing them, and helping with other daily tasks. Let’s come together to recognize National Long-Term Care Awareness Month and show support to those giving and receiving long-term care. Here’s a list of statistics surrounding long-term care in the United States.

  • 78% of adults who are getting long-term care at home rely solely on family and friends for their assistance
  • The average caregiver is a woman around 46 years of age
  • On average, the caregiver spends about 21 hours per week assisting their patient or family member
  • Over 90% of family caregivers had to alter their work schedule permanently because of caring for their loved one
  • Around 40% of caregivers have had to switch from working full-time to part time
  • Close to half said they had to skip vacation and other personal activities in order to take adequate care of their loved one
  • 29% had to use their own money to provide care
  • More than 10% had to move in order to be closer to their family member in need of care
  • Around 10% had to take a pay cut at their full-time job

The American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance found national Long-Term Care Awareness Month in 2001. Their goal is to get people to focus on long-term care awareness and have a plan ready for themselves as they are near age 65.