People taking omicron to ‘get it over’ have healthcare professionals worried
HARLINGEN, Texas (KGBT) – Many in the United States are getting their COVID-19 information online, but there’s a new concern on social media: people wanting to get COVID-19 to “get it over with.”
“We have to be careful of misinformation, whether intentional or unintentional, which can cause great harm,” said Dr. Jose Campo Maldonado, an infectious disease specialist at Valley Baptist Medical Center in Harlingen, Texas.
Maldonado disagrees with the idea of people deliberately taking omicron to boost their immunity.
“It can send you to the hospital, make you sick for a very long time at the very least, or maybe you’re lucky it’s a short time, or it can kill you,” he said.
Maldonado said people can react differently to COVID-19, so catching it intentionally could put you at risk.
“You don’t know if you’re going to have a serious illness and then be hospitalized or die, especially if you have risk factors, so the concept of herd immunity – that’s what some people expect to achieve – this is not the right way to go about it,” Maldonado said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said they expect people infected with the omicron variant could pass it on to others even if they are vaccinated or show no symptoms. However, the agency said: “More data is needed to know whether infections with Omicron, and in particular reinfections and breakthrough infections in fully immunized people, cause more severe illness or death than infection with other variations.”
Maldonado also explained that taking five days off work to quarantine will only cause a labor shortage in many already struggling industries. He suggests getting vaccinated to prevent serious illness from the virus.
“Ideally, the perfect vaccine will prevent you from getting even a mild illness. But just because it’s not, that doesn’t mean the vaccine isn’t good,” he said.
Maldonado said omicron is much more transmissible than other variants, adding that people should be careful about the information they find on social media.
“The level of accountability on how we communicate and convey information is even higher than it was before because of this globalization of information, so be aware of that,” Maldonado said.