Omicron is the ‘second most contagious’ virus in the world – WGHP FOX8 Greensboro

December 22, 2021
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WGHP FOX8
by: Talia Naquin, Nexstar Media Wire
CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) – “We’re going to be overrun.”
Dr. Claudia Hoyen, a pediatric infectious disease specialist at UH Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Ohio, was blunt about the state of the COVID-19 pandemic, as it is on track to continue into another year of our lives.
Dr. Hoyen was one of several health leaders from University Hospitals and Cleveland Clinic who spoke Tuesday during a joint press conference.
“Omicron is the second most contagious virus on the planet,” she said. “The most contagious virus we think of is measles, that has a factor of about 18.”
The “factor” Hoyen is referring to is the basic reproduction number, or the average number of people who someone with the virus would infect.
Measles can live for up to two hours in an enclosed airspace and is so contagious that if one person has it “up to 90% of the people close to that person who are not immune will also become infected,” according to the CDC. Making it even harder to contain is the fact that someone who has measles can spread the virus to others four days before, and four days after, they develop the telltale rash.
“This new variant of COVID-19 has a factor of 15,” Hoyen said. “It’s just very important for people to understand that we are in a much different position than we were just two weeks ago.
Hoyen says they’re also seeing more children with acute COVID and kids who are fighting multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), which is associated with the virus.
“Our ERs are overwhelmed. Our workers are exhausted,” said Hoyer.
Omicron cases accounted for about 13% of all COVID-19 cases nationally last week. By Monday night, they accounted for 73%.
The World Health Organization said Saturday that omicron cases have been doubling in 1.5 to 3 days in areas with community transmission.

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Winston-Salem Police Chief Catrina Thompson has led her officers, civilian employees and the citizens of Winston-Salem through a challenging year, all while continuing the wellness journey she embarked on in response to her experiences in 2020.  
“I remember in 2020, probably around October, saying, ‘wow, I’ll be glad when 2020 is over.’ And my daughter looked at me at the time, and she said, ‘Mom, who ever said 2021 is gonna be better?’ And I thought, well that’s a good point, but 2020 was pretty bad,” Thompson said. “Then we get to 2021, and it has been worse.” 
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — A man was charged with felony murder on Tuesday in connection to the death of a teen in Winston-Salem, according to a Winston-Salem Police Department news release.
On Saturday at 3:45 a.m., Winston-Salem officers responded to Timlic Avenue when they were told about a shooting.
GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Two people were shot in Greensboro and taken to the hospital on Tuesday night, according to Greensboro police.
Around 9:39 p.m., police responded to the 3900 block of McIntosh Street when they were told about a shooting. 

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