A happy, not so happy birthday is in order. Coming up in March, COVID-19 will officially mark it’s second year anniversary. There have been over 2.5 million tests run worldwide within the last week.
Over the years, there have been a total of 3 mutations of COVID: Delta, Omicron, and Mu.
Each variant more severe than the last, lets take a larger look into the Omicron variant. The Omicron variant was identified first in the United States on December 1, 2021.
Dr. Awodiya, a professor at DSU, caught the Omicron variant of COVID late last year. He describes his experience as life changing. “I don’t usually catch the Flu, but I have had it before. COVID [omicron variant] was 100x more debilitating than the common flu. My symptoms included a lot of joint pain, tiredness, and I felt useless.”
Dr. Aja Jackson DeVose is a family medicine practitioner in Philadelphia. Dr. DeVose graduated from FAMU, and continued her studies at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. She has 9 years of experience under her belt, and has witnessed first hand the effects of COVID-19.
When asked how the COVID variants differ she responded:
“COVID-19’s newest variant, Omicron, has been found to be increasingly more contagious than the previous Delta variant. Studies also suggest that the symptoms tend to mimic those of allergy symptoms (headaches, sneezing, nasal congestion) as opposed to standard symptoms of other COVID-19 variants of fever, shortness of breath, cough and sore throat. Additionally, the risk of severe disease with COVID-19’s newest variant, Omicron, is lower than with other variants.”
Following that response, she encouraged everyone to get vaccinated and to receive a booster shot. Dr. DeVose stated, “According to the CDC, during both Delta- and Omicron-predominant periods, receipt of a third vaccine dose was highly effective at preventing COVID-19–associated emergency department and urgent care encounters (94% and 82%, respectively) and preventing COVID-19–associated hospitalizations (94% and 90%, respectively). Further research continues.”
As college students, it is understandable to want to have gatherings and be with friends. However, it is important to get tested frequently and to maintain social distancing to protect yourself and others.
“As active college students, utilizing rapid tests before indoor gatherings will help prevent the spread of COVID-19. If you feel even slightly sick, if you think it’s just my allergies, get tested for COVID-19. This will ensure that you don’t mistakenly spread the virus to your friends, families and loved ones.” Dr. DeVose stated.
Be sure to comply with DSU Testing protocols, and get tested weekly. DSU provides testing Monday through Friday at the ticketing booth located near the football field from 9-5. If you are feeling sick or unwell be sure to get tested immediately and isolate yourself.