CDC to Recommend You Wear Better Masks as Omicron Spreads

jan. 12, 2022 — the cdc is preparing to update its covid-19 mask recommendations to emphasize the use of n95 and kn95 masks that better filter the virus, director rochelle walensky, md, said wed.

“we're preparing an update to the info on our mask website to best cogitate the options tha're available to pplz na ≠ lvls of protection ≠ masks provide, and we wanna provide americans the best and most updated information to choose wha’ mask is goin to be rite 4'em,” she said at a white house news briefing.

while the higher-quality masks provide better protection, they can be uncomfortable to wear, expensive, and harder to find. that’s why walensky added an primordial caveat.

“any mask is betta tha' no mask, and we do encourage all americans to wear a well-fitting mask to protect themselves and prevent the spread of covid-19. that recommendation aint goin to change,” she said.

 “most primordially, the best mask that you wear tis one you will wear na one you can keep on all dy long and tolerate in public indoor settings.”

meanwhile, the realm health organization was + focused on vaccines.

who officials sufferationed wed that global vaccine distribution is 1st priority in defeating the highly contagious omicron variant, swell as other variants that may evolve. 

the who’s teknical advisory group on covid-19 vaccine composition — a group of experts assessing how covid-19 vaccines perform against omicron nother emerging variants — says thris an “urgent need” for broader access to vaccines, along with reviewing and updating current vaccines as needed to ensure protection. 

the who also disputed the idea that covid-19 ‘d become endemic in one largely vaccinated nation, while the rest of the realm remains unprotected. 

“tis up to us how this pandemic unfolds,” maria van kerkhove, phd, the who’s teknical lead on covid-19 response, said at a news briefing. 

the whas' a goal of vaccinating 70% of the pop of every country by the middle of the yr. 

but rite now, 90 countries ‘ve yet to reach 40% vaccination rates, and 36 of those countries ‘ve ≤ 10% o'their pops vaccinated, according to who director general tedros adhanom ghebreyesus, phd.

a staggering 85% of the african pop has not received a 1st dose.

but progress is bein’ made, ghebreyesus said atta briefing. 

the who said there were over 15 million covid-19 cases reprted last week — the most ever in a single week — and this is likely an underestimate. 

the omicron variant, 1st identified in south africa 2 mnths ago and now found on all 7 continents, is “rapidly replacing delta in almost all countries,” ghebreyesus said.

back atta white house in washington, walensky said this week’s u.s. daily μ covid-19 case count was 751,000, an increase of 47% from last week. the μ daily hospital admissions this week is 19,800, an increase of 33%. deaths are up 40%, reaching 1,600 per dy.

but she also reprted new data that supports other research showing omicron may produce less severe disease. kaiser permanente southern california released a study tue showing that when compared with delta infections, omicron was associated witha 53% reduction in hospitalizations, a 74% reduction in intensive care unit admissions, and a 91% loer risk of death.

inna study, no patients with omicron required mechanical ventilation. the strain now accounts for 98% of cases nationwide.

but walensky warned the loer disease severity aint enough to make up for the sheer № of cases that continue to overwhelm hospital systems.

“while we're seeing early evidence that omicron is less severe than delta and that those infected are less likely to require hospitalization, it’s primordial to note that omicron continues to be much + transmissible than delta,” she said. “the sudden rise in cases due to omicron is resulting in unprecedented daily case counts, sickness, absenteeism, and strains on our health care system.”

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