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Omicron variant has shorter incubation period, nearly 20 times more contagious than other strains

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Omicron variant
Posted at 5:23 AM, Dec 28, 2021

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A Nevada health expert says symptoms for the omicron variant are showing up much faster than other strains of the virus.

“There’s a shorter time period between infection and illness. This is probably one of the fastest expanding waves that we’ve had yet,” said Dr. Daliah Wachs, a board-certified family physician.

Wachs said the incubation period, the time between infection and becoming symptomatic, is much shorter. On average, Wachs said people are starting to show symptoms in three days.

“It’s also important to mention that hospitalizations still can occur even if you’ve been vaccinated so we have to be very very careful because it’s a very highly infectious and unpredictable strain,” Wachs said.

Wachs suggests swapping out face masks from a regular cloth mask to an N-95 covering.

“We know that people are reusing their masks and aren’t washing them, plus they aren’t medical grade. We know that the N-95 has a better chance of preventing the extra flow of pathogens back and forth,” Wachs said.

On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that people who test positive for the coronavirus but have no symptoms should quarantine for five days as opposed to the previous recommendation of 10 days.

The CDC says there is growing evidence that the virus is most infectious in the two or three days after symptoms arise.