Lincoln, NE (January 12, 2022) No one really had any doubt, but it became official Wednesday: Omicron is now the dominant strain of Covid-19 infecting Nebraska. Acting State Epidemiologist Dr. Matthew Donahue said Omicron is spreading fast.
“At the beginning of this week we were at 73% of sequences that were collected within the prior two weeks were identified as Omicron.”
Donahue said it’s the same all across the country.
“The U.S. has not seen Covid-19 transmission like this in the two years we’ve been at it. States across the U.S. are seeing the most cases they’ve yet seen, and they’re breaking records.”
Dr. Angela Hewitt, Director of the Biocontainment Lab at the University of Nebraska Medical Center told reporters Wednesday that Omicron is also changing the rules for Medical Professionals fighting the disease.
“The medications that used to work for the previous variants, and most recently Delta, don’t work for Omicron. ” Referring to therapeutic drugs that are intended to keep people out of hospitals she said “We have a small number of medications that work to try to prevent people from going into the hospital. The issue is that we also have a very small supply.”
She said those who hesitate or refuse to get vaccinated, assuming that drugs will keep them from serious illness, should reconsider.
“We only have a handful of these medications intended to keep people out of the hospital, but unfortunately we have hundreds of people who qualify.”
She said she hopes the supply of medicine will increase in the future.
“It’s very frustrating to see that as a health care worker, and see those limitations, and just not being able to treat the patients that you want to treat.”