Area health experts discuss threat of omicron variant

Posted at 3:03 PM, Dec 22, 2021

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — On Wednesday, area experts discussed the current and upcoming public health landscape and the threats that omicron and influenza could present.

Dr. James Lawler and Shelly Schwedhelm from UNMC, among other medical experts, presented a webinar on the concerning status of the COVID-19 pandemic given various factors.

Experts took a deeper look at the omicron variant and what the spread is like in Europe versus here in the U.S.

They've been looking at the surging cases in states like New York and comparing them with hospitalizations and vaccination rates.

In the Midwest, there are some concerns about the variant's potential to further increase the burden on area hospitals. But a lot of questions remain.

"Are we going to see a significant decoupling of hospitalizations and cases? And how significant will that be? Or will we see proportional hospitalization rates, and if we see that we're in a world of trouble," said Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. James Lawler.

Health officials are asking people who are still unvaccinated to get the vaccine and to get boosted if eligible for a third dose.

Watch the full webinar below or on our Facebook page.

Download our apps today for all of our latest coverage.

Get the latest news and weather delivered straight to your inbox.

Coronavirus Resources and Information

Johns Hopkins global coronavirus tracker