People previously infected or are fully vaccinated can get infected with Omicron
Stay home & do not attend any gatherings if you have any symptoms of COVID-19

People previously infected or are fully vaccinated can get infected with Omicron

Stay home & do not attend any gatherings if you have any symptoms of COVID-19

By Semi Turaga
Tuesday 04/01/2022
Permanent Secretary for Health Dr James Fong.

With confirmation that Omicron is now spreading in the community in Fiji, Permanent Secretary for Health Doctor James Fong is stressing that Omicron spreads very fast so you should assume you are infected and self-isolate, if you develop any cold or flu-like symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing, nasal congestion, sore throat, cough, body ache and fever.

Please stay home and do not attend any gatherings if you have any symptoms of COVID-19.

He says if you have any of these symptoms, please stay home to prevent infecting others, especially those who may be more at risk of severe disease.

Doctor Fong stresses that you should get tested if you can, but especially if you are at higher risk of severe disease.

He says you are at higher risk of severe disease if you are over the age of 50 or have any significant chronic disease like heart disease, kidney disease, lung disease, diabetes, hypertension or you are obese or pregnant.

If anyone in your home is at higher risk of developing severe disease, please try to isolate yourself away from them.

Doctor Fong adds Omicron has been shown to escape immunity from infection induced by previous infection or vaccination.

He stresses that this means that people that have been previously infected by other variants or have been fully vaccinated with two doses of the vaccine, can get infected with Omicron.

Doctor Fong adds however, Omicron is more likely to cause milder disease, with data from the UK and South Africa showing that the risk of hospitalization with Omicron compared with Delta is reduced by as much as 80% and once in hospital, the risk of severe diseases with Omicron is reduced by as much as 70%.

He says as with previous variants, unvaccinated people are at higher risk of severe disease.

Doctor Fong further adds with more than 92% of adults fully vaccinated, we expect that our high vaccination rates, plus the infection-induced immunity from the large number of people who were infected during the last wave, will help to lower the number of people that develop severe disease.

He adds they continue to see that the majority of individuals testing positive in medical facilities are presenting for non-COVID medical problems and found to be positive while undergoing routine screening as all admissions to the hospital are currently tested for COVID-19.

Doctor Fong adds the vast majority of cases turning positive have minimal symptoms and remain stable.

He says severe outcomes will still be expected in some individuals, including those who have been immunized with two doses of the vaccine, especially people with severe underlying medical conditions or are over the age of 50.

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