FACT FINDERS: What’s after omicron?

KOLD News 5-5:30 p.m. recurring
Published: Feb. 17, 2022 at 5:35 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - With COVID-19 cases on the downward trend in Arizona many are wondering, what’s after omicron? Is there another new variant we need to watch out for or could we really be headed to the endemic phase?

Dr. Saman Nematollahi with the University of Arizona College of Medicine says so far it looks like there are no major concerns with any of the subvariants of omicron. However, he says that does not necessarily mean we won’t see another concerning variant come down.

”Unfortunately, as long as we continue to have health inequities with respect to both vaccinations and providing free testing in our communities, the virus will continue to spread, it will continue to replicate, it’ll continue to mutate, and it is possible that more and more variants will come. And so, it’s just really hard to predict,” he said.

So, he says it is hard to know at this point if we are really headed into the endemic phase. According to the World Health Organization, there are no new variants of concern or interest since omicron. However, scientists will continue to monitor that closely.

Dr. Nematollahi stresses the importance of getting vaccinated and boosted to help prevent the chances of another dangerous variant.

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