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Will you get COVID because of omicron? A new prediction is here

So many people will likely get COVID-19 at this stage, says Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health.

So many people will likely get COVID-19 at this stage, according to Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health.
Photo illustration by Alex Cochran, Deseret News

The omicron variant is so contagious that it’s likely millions of Americans will contract the virus in the near future, according to Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health.

Jha said on “Good Morning America” Monday that the omicron variant has become so dangerous due to its high transmissibility and how it can make vaccinated people sick.

  • It’s likely, he said, millions of Americans will end up sick from the omicron variant.
  • Jha said, “I do think lots of people are going to get (omicron).”

But Jha said the goal to combatting the virus is not to stop infections — it’s to make sure more infections don’t become severe.

  • “It’s an incredibly contagious variant. I think people should understand that the goal cannot be to avoid infection at all cost — that’s an unrealistic goal,” he said. ”The goal should be: prevent deaths and severe illness, which vaccines will do, (and) keep our hospitals from getting crushed, which again, vaccinations and testing can help with. This is very contagious. Lots of Americans will end up getting it. Let’s just make sure that they don’t get very sick from it.”

Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, recently told CNN that the omicron variant will infect millions of people throughout the winter.

  • “We’re really just about to experience a viral blizzard,” Osterholm told CNN on Thursday. “In the next three to eight weeks, we’re going to see millions of Americans are going to be infected with this virus, and that will be overlaid on top of Delta, and we’re not yet sure exactly how that’s going to work out.”

All of this said, most of the recent research suggests the omicron variant leads to less severe COVID-19 symptoms compared to previous strains of the coronavirus, as per the Deseret News. The omicron variant data suggests the variant creates fewer hospitalizations, too.