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COVID-19: Here's Why You Shouldn't Deliberately Catch Omicron To 'Get It Over With'

COVID-19 Photo Credit: Photo by Fusion Medical Animation on Unsplash

With several health experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, predicting most Americans will eventually be exposed to the COVID-19 Omicron variant, some are asking "Why not catch it and get over it?"

Not so fast, according to scientists.

"You'd be crazy to try to get infected with this," Dr. Robert Murphy, executive director of the Havey Institute for Global Health at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, told CNN. "It's like playing with dynamite."

Murphy noted Omicron is a "life-threatening disease" and "not just a cold," and even in milder cases, people have been left debilitated for days.

Getting Omicron also means you may spread the variant to vulnerable people.

"And while you might have made a conscious decision to allow yourself to be exposed and infected, those people have not made that same choice," epidemiologist Bill Miller of The Ohio State University told NPR.

It's also unclear how long immunity lasts after contracting Omicron.

"At three to 16 months, you should be on notice," Jeffrey Townsend, an evolutionary biology and biostatistics professor at The Yale School of Public Health, said in the NPR report. "The clock is starting to tick again." 

Fauci, the chief medical advisor to President Biden, told the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) last week that "Omicron, with its extraordinary, unprecedented degree of efficiency of transmissibility, will ultimately find just about everybody."

Click here to read the complete CNN report.

Click here to read the complete NPR report.

Related stories:

A ZOE study conducted in the United Kingdom analyzed thousands of COVID symptoms uploaded to an app by the British public amid the start of the Omicron outbreak.

The top five symptoms recorded in the app were:

  • Runny nose,
  • Headache,
  • Fatigue (both mild or severe),
  • Sneezing,
  • Sore throat.

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