Doctor: Don't put your guard down despite decline in COVID cases
Local doctors say the Omicron wave seems to be breaking but that it is still important not to expose others if you think you might be sick.
Dr. Jamie Meyer, infectious disease specialist with Yale Medicine, says Omicron can sometimes be hard to identify, with symptoms like headache and muscle soreness.
"People tend to feel them in sort of the biggest muscles in the body, like the back and the legs," said Meyer.
She says that's made diagnosis hard, with testing in high demand.
"Don't blow it off. It's COVID until proven otherwise, even though we're on the decline," she said.
Meyer says the data points to the Omicron wave finally starting to recede in Connecticut.
"Our hospitalizations peaked, it seems, around Jan. 10, and every day since then, we've had fewer and fewer people hospitalized related to COVID," said Meyer
She says the variant's steep ascent took the hospital system by surprise and taxed capacity.
"This surge timed with all of the winter holidays, and people getting together and taking fewer precautions, and the fact that there were all these breakthrough infections," Meyer said.
But she says international data suggests Omicron could have nearly as fast a decline.
"I hope that we will see, as other areas of the world have seen, a real rapid decline down this other side of the mountain," said Meyer.
She says all the recent infections have left behind natural immunity that should give us a few months before another new COVID wave hits.
"And then they have a lot longer lasting protection from vaccination and boosting, then we hope we can push out a next wave or make it so the next wave is flatter," said Meyer.
New data from Israel suggests a second booster of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine may still not be enough to protect against Omicron. The country's health ministry says it will continue to offer the fourth shot.