Covid expert warns of another TWO YEARS of pandemic hell and says 'you'll pay the price' if you don't follow advice

AMERICANS could face another two years of the Covid pandemic as a top disease expert warns that those who do not follow the scientific advice will “pay the price”.

The US is currently battling a surge of Omicron infections as data shows that the strain, first detected by South African scientists, makes up more than 70 percent of new Covid cases.



The variant has been detected in at least 89 countries worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Joe Biden's top coronavirus boffin, said the rapidity of the strain is “unprecedented”, while epidemiologist Michael Osterholm warned a “viral blizzard” of new infections.

Expert studies have shown that the risk of severe illness from Covid-19 is reduced by 90 percent or more among people who are fully vaccinated.

While there are breakthrough cases of Covid among people who are vaccinated, they are rare. 

In the event of a breakthrough case, victims are highly unlikely to be hospitalized with severe or deadly symptoms from the virus. 

Health officials have advised that the Omicron variant is more infectious and could lead to further breakthrough cases.  

Experts fear that the variant could overwhelm health services.

Professor David Celentano, an epidemiologist at The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, told The Sun that coronavirus will “absolutely” continue to mutate for years to come as “viruses always look for new ways to thrive”.

In a gloomy warning, he feared that Americans may be living with the pandemic for up to two more years.

He added: “I don’t know if we’re ever going to be through it. But, it may become endemic like the seasonal flu.”

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Around 40 million eligible Americans remain unvaccinated, according to the latest data.

The first Omicron-related death was reported in Harris County, Texas.

Officials said that an unvaccinated man, between 50 and 60, had been previously infected with the virus. The victim also had underlying health conditions, according to Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo.

The omicron strain is highly transmissible but experts say that those who are fully vaccinated and have received a booster shot are well protected against the disease.

Those who do contract a breakthrough case while vaccinated are also unlikely to suffer major symptoms or be hospitalized.

Celentano said: “If you don’t follow the scientific advice, you will pay the price, and we have a lot of people who just aren’t accepting the science.”

So-called "red states" have adopted a looser set of restrictions than Democratic states throughout the pandemic.

Joe Biden’s rule that allows larger companies to order their workers to get vaccinated was reinstated by the US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton vowed to take the ruling to the Supreme Court, The Texas Tribune reported.

Meanwhile, Boston mayor Michelle Wu mandated employees in restaurants, gyms, bars, and entertainment venues to get vaccinated, and Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser reinstated an indoor mask mandate until the end of January.

'PATRIOTIC DUTY'

Californians are also under an indoor mask mandate but Governor Gavin Newsom has, so far, resisted the idea of a statewide shutdown.

Biden branded getting vaccinated a “patriotic duty” as he called on Americans to take up the jab.

“It’s the only responsible thing to do,” the president said. “Omicron is serious and potentially deadly business for unvaccinated people.”

He refused to impose national shutdowns, adding that: “I know you’re tired, and I know you’re frustrated. We all want this to be over. But we’re still in it.

“We also have more tools than we had before. We’re ready, we’ll get through this.”

The Government will buy around 500million rapid Covid tests and will ship them out to homes in the new year.

Biden also revealed that he plans to increase support for hospitals that are under strain.

According to CDC data published on Monday, more than 73 percent of new Covid-19 cases in the US were caused by Omicron.

Meanwhile, the prevalence of the Delta variant – which had been the dominant strain since July – had dipped by 26 percent.

Scientists do not know if Omicron is deadlier than variants such as Delta, however, to date there has only been one confirmed death from the new variant in the US.

Omicron reportedly makes up at least 90 percent of new Covid infections in New York, New Jersey, parts of the Midwest, South, and Pacific Northwest.

CDC officials said: “This sharp rise in Omicron cases was expected and is similar to what has been seen worldwide.”




Expert studies have shown that the risk of severe illness from Covid-19 is reduced by 90 percent or more among people who are fully vaccinated.

While there are breakthrough cases of Covid among people who are vaccinated, they are rare.

In the event of a breakthrough case, victims are highly unlikely to be hospitalized with severe or deadly symptoms from the virus.

Health officials have advised that the Omicron variant is more infectious and could lead to further breakthrough cases.

Yet the spread can be offset by all vaccinated Americans receiving a booster shot.

Current vaccines are expected to protect against severe illness, hospitalizations, and deaths due to infection with the Omicron variant.

With other variants, like Delta, vaccines have remained effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalizations, and death.

Studies have also shown that side effects from the vaccine are extremely rare.

Source: Centers for Disease Control.

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