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- American immunologist and head of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Dr. Anthony Fauci listed eight steps that people should take in their daily lives to address the Omicron variant.
In a Tuesday briefing with the White House's COVID-19 response team, Fauci — the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases — said existing pandemic measures should work against the newly detected variant.
Fauci recommended the following steps to protect against the Omicron variant:
Get vaccinated against COVID-19.
If you're already vaccinated, get a booster shot.
Avoid crowded places.
Gather outdoors when possible.
Socially distance from others.
Isolate from others if you test positive for COVID-19.
"These things we have been doing, we need to keep doing them," Fauci said.
South Africa first reported the variant to the World Health Organization on November 24. It has since been identified in 20 countries, Fauci said.
"Confirmed cases, as of yesterday, was 205 in 18 countries. And just this morning, that's gone up to 226 in 20 countries," Fauci said.
Fauci said the variant's mutations suggested it could be able to dodge some of the body's immune defenses but added that scientists were still learning about it.
It's "very difficult to know" whether the variant will be associated with more severe disease, he said.
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