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OMICRON VARIANT

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Bebtelovimab is designed as a treatment option for those newly diagnosed with COVID-19 who cannot take Paxlovid and are deemed at high risk of severe outcomes. It replaces a series of monoclonal treatments that no longer are effective against virus due to mutation.
A seemingly endless stream of “subvariants” of omicron, the most recent Greek-letter variant, has emerged in the past few months. How different are these subvariants from one another? Can infection by one subvariant protect someone from infection by another subvariant? And how well are the existing coronavirus vaccines doing against the subvariants? We asked medical and epidemiological experts these and other questions.
Federal health officials say the best prevention against COVID-19 infection among infants, who cannot be vaccinated, is for pregnant women and new mothers to become vaccinated.
After two years of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, a Minnesota emergency room physician talks about the toll on hospital staff and patients.
When given early, lab-engineered antibody infusions have reduced COVID-19 hospitalizations among persons at high risk. Previous versions of these treatments do not appear to work against the omicron variant, however. Replacement products are in short supply, with providers given a few dozen treatments weekly while managing hundreds of new patients.
How is the omicron variant different from others? How should you test for omicron? What mask should you wear? When will the omicron surge end? We provide some answers to these and other questions, with information current as of Tuesday, Jan. 18.

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The CDC clarified on its website "that people can choose respirators such as N95s and KN95s, including removing concerns related to supply shortages for N95s."
The Mayo Clinic's modeling project is its digital crystal ball for identifying emerging high-transmission hot spots across the country. Mayo data scientist Dr. Curtis Storlie says Minnesota is now on track to double its highest case numbers. "We're probably half way," Storlie said. "From what we're seeing ... the peak in cases could be anywhere from next week to the first week of February, with an estimate of Jan. 24 as our case peak for the state."
A year ago, the newly available vaccine offered hope that the COVID-19 pandemic may be under control by the start of 2022. Instead, the sudden arrival of Omicron has brought a surge in coronavirus cases across the globe.

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