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State health officials discuss Omicron variant

Posted at 8:30 PM, Dec 02, 2021

BRYAN, Texas — Health experts now confirming more cases of the Omicron variant in the U.S. tonight.

"There are only two confirmed cases in the United States so far, however, it’s not something for us to discount just because it’s not at our door yet,” Daniel Owens, Texas task force on infectious disease preparedness and response.

Just five days after the world health organization classified the Omicron as a variant of concern the first U.S case was detected.

"If we see a lot of mutations in the spike protein you know then we always have to consider is that going to cause issues with vaccine resistance,” said Dr. Jason McKnight, primary care and population health expert with Texas A&M.

Although health officials said they’re still learning the direct impact of the new variant, the state health department and the Texas task force team are confident in what they do know.

DSHS presented a variety of COVID trends. In their presentation, one is a downward trend of hospitalization.

"We kind of have a little bit of information now about what happens when other variants take over other variants, so when we see a lot of these headlines come out about Omicron, and a lot of concern about Omicron, there’s no reason to panic but there is reason to be vigilant about it,” said Owens.

Daniel Owens, a member of the task force who personally battled COVID said it’s best to prepare an emergency kit like you would for a natural disaster.

"We need to prepare the same way for illness because if you become ill with COVID you get trapped in your home and then you don’t have access to food, to cold medicine, and then that is kind of where you get into a trap,” said Owens.

Vaccinations are highly encouraged now more than ever in hopes of preventing the further spread of COVID-19.