Omicron variant not a cause for concern yet - medicine professor

Leah Panapa 29/11/2021

LISTEN: Some experts believe taking a precaution is the right approach to the new potentially dangerous coronavirus variant.

The new Omicron variant is spreading in southern African countries and has been picked up in Germany, the UK and Australia.

It was first reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) from South Africa on November 24. 

Professor of medicine Des Gorman says there is not too much cause for concern just yet.

"I think we shouldn't be too anxious," he told Magic Talk.

The WHO says Omicron has a "large number" of mutations, some of which are "concerning".

Preliminary evidence suggests that there's an increased risk of infection with the variant compared to others.

Gorman says while every generation of virus mutations tends to get more infectious, they also get less virulent.

"In other words, they make you less and less sick," he told Magic Talk.

Gorman believes if you do get sick from the Omicron variant, it won't last long.

There has been some concern that the current COVID-19 vaccines aren't effective in combatting Omicron, however, Gorman says they will still do the job.

"I don't see any reason looking at this thing to think that the existing vaccines won't hold it back," he said.

Listen to the full interview with Des Gorman above.

Magic Talk | Mornings with Leah Panapa, weekdays from 9am

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