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East Texas Now: Dr. Ed Dominguez, Dr. Theresa Paton discuss Omicron variant of COVID-19

With the Omicron variant rapidly spreading across the country, Dr. Ed Dominguez, an infectious disease specialist, appeared on East Texas Now.
Published: Jan. 7, 2022 at 4:12 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 7, 2022 at 10:56 PM CST
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EAST TEXAS (KLTV/KTRE) - With the Omicron variant rapidly spreading across the country, Dr. Ed Dominguez, an infectious disease specialist, said during his East Texas Now appearance Friday that this new wave is affecting the hospital systems across the nation.

“What’s concerning about this go-around is how rapidly this particular variant spreads, how facile it is in being transmitted and that is really affecting our staffing abilities within the hospitals,” Dominguez said.

Dr. Theresa Patton, an OB/GYN, agreed, saying the pandemic has taken its toll on healthcare workers. She once again stressed the importance of vaccination, citing the data supporting their safety and effectiveness in keeping people out of the hospital.

“The mental gymnastics with this pandemic are tough for everybody, and so we understand that but the best way for us to get out of it is for y’all to get out and get vaccinated,” Patton said.

Another recent development, the CDC has cut the recommended isolation period to five days for the public with COVID-19, Patton explained.

“What we’ve learned is that 85 to 90 percent of the transmission happens in those first five days of the illness with the other 10 to 15 percent happening in the next five days of the illness, and so that is where the recommendation came from,” Patton said. “After those first five days, if you are improving dramatically in your symptoms, then you can return to public or return to work.”

Dominguez said he understands the reasoning behind the CDC’s decision and said he thinks though it may not be the ideal way to do things, it’s the most practical.

“It’s not the best way to do things but the most practical way to do things to allow people to continue to work given that we’ve had significant shortages,” Dominguez said. “I think it strikes a balance that makes sense at least for now unless something else comes up later.”

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