As the omicron variant continues to rage throughout the country, (albeit a milder form of COVID than previous incarnations), there are concerns about its swift spread and what that means for the immediate future.
Omicron appears to be highly contagious, with social circles seemingly being invaded at incredible rates, the likes of which even the dreaded delta didn’t achieve. And now, medical experts are fearful that they’ve found the reason why: It’s undeterred by masks.
Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of health policy and infectious diseases at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, said face masks might not be as effective at stopping the omicron variant.Advertisement - story continues below
“Omicron produces more virus, even than delta,” Schaffner told Health. “So, the masks’ capacity to interrupt or reduce transmission back and forth is likewise reduced.”
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told ABC News last week that face masks won’t be around forever. While the CDC is encouraging people to wear them now, it’s unlikely masks will last forever.
“Masks are for now, they’re not forever,” Walensky told ABC News. “We have to find a way to be done with them.”
If omicron truly is mask-resistant, that could be an explanation for its rapid spread.
Thankfully, most studies seem to indicate that this variant of the virus is far less severe than other variants, with doctors reporting largely “mild” symptoms in omicron patients?