Dear Members of the Baylor College of Medicine Community,
Omicron is still with us but it is possible the number of new cases may be peaking, or has peaked.
In this week’s video, we look at assumptions behind when the peak will be – are we there now, or will it be later this month? In looking at other countries, in the UK the Omicron wave started Nov. 12 and began to drop Jan. 7, so 8 weeks from the start to the beginning of the decline. In Greece that time period was 3 weeks. Assuming the U.S. will be 8 weeks, the peak would be Jan. 16, or earlier this week. We will know before long if this is the case.
In the U.S., mortality rates from Omicron are beginning to increase slightly; definitely something we will watch. The outcomes are definitely better with Omicron than with Delta. In a Kaiser study, Omicron hospital admissions were about one-third of Delta; ICU admission about one-fourth; and mortality about one-tenth.
Though it may seem like it is might be a good idea just to get Omicron and get it over with, that is a bad option. Another study I reference this week shows even elite athletes perform poorly after an infection. It is best to get vaccinated and boosted, wear a well-fitted mask and be aware of the vaccination status of those around you.
In a look back at 2021, I have a Top 10 list for you this week: Why listen to scientists when you have the Internet? If you want to share other examples, send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a great weekend. Stay safe.
Paul Klotman, M.D.
President & CEO