Omicron is ‘most worrisome variant we have seen so far,’ expert says

New COVID-19 variant prompts travel restrictions

Health experts are concerned about a new COVID-19 variant named omicron.

MIAMI – Health experts are concerned about a new COVID-19 variant named omicron. It already prompted new travel restrictions in the United States after it began spreading in South Africa.

Related: World Health Organization gives a name to COVID variant of concern: omicron

There are currently less than 100 cases, but starting Monday, eight African countries will be restricted from entry into the U.S. There are no reported cases in the U.S. as of right now.

“There is no indication that it is right now,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said.

The variant has an unusually high amount of mutations and may reduce the effectiveness of vaccines and antibody treatment.

“This has a very high transmissibility,” said Dr. Aileen Marty, an infectious disease expert with Florida International University.

Marty said this new variant is concerning.

“This makes this the most worrisome variant we have seen so far, including delta,” Marty said.

Marty said studies are being done, and it is unclear right now if the variant is deadlier than the Delta variant.

Marty said it is best not to let your guard down, especially when going out and about this holiday season.

About the Author:

Bridgette Matter joined the Local 10 News team as a reporter in July 2021. Before moving to South Florida, she began her career in South Bend, Indiana and spent six years in Jacksonville as a reporter and weekend anchor.