Lexington doctor discusses concerns over new COVID variant

Published: Nov. 28, 2021 at 10:21 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - As the new omicron variant of COVID-19 starts to emerge worldwide, Lexington emergency physician Dr. Ryan Stanton says it’s still unclear what we’re dealing with.

“We’ve had some variants of concern that have really been nothing and things such as the Delta variant that have really taken off,” said Dr. Stanton.

With winter around the corner, Dr. Stanton says several other viruses are also becoming a concern, such as the flu and RSV.

“Not only are we dealing with COVID-19 but we’re also seeing other things as well,” Dr. Stanton said. “I just had my first diagnosis of flu that I’ve seen in 20 months, and we’ve had a couple here in this department.”

Stanton says the scientific community will continue to keep an eye on it, and in the meantime, people should continue to mask where appropriate and get the vaccine.

“At this point, I don’t think it’s beneficial for anyone to be paralyzed in fear about COVID-19,” said Dr. Stanton. “It’s just about doing all we can to protect ourselves and protect others.”

“We as a country are better off than we were just a few months ago, not only because of the vaccination of a significant number of people but also because of the natural immunity that exists out there, too,” Dr. Stanton added. “Even better, in terms of strong immune response, those who have been exposed to both.”

Dr. Stanton says he doesn’t expect omicron to impact the efficacy of the vaccine, given its effectiveness against the Delta variant. He says that the vast majority of patients he’s admitting currently are unvaccinated and have risk factors.

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