How long will the omicron variant spike last in San Antonio? Infectious disease specialist weighs in.

SAINT ANTHONY – With thousands of COVID-19 cases reported in San Antonio every day, and with even more cases occurring across the country, many are wondering when this surge will end and when normalcy will return.

Dr Ruth Berggren, infectious disease specialist at UT Health San Antonio, joined KSAT’s question-and-answer session on Thursday, saying there were already some predictions about when omicron could peak and where the cases would decrease.

However, not all models predict the same prediction and the prediction differs for each location.

Dr Berggren said that, based on a model from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, the state of Texas as a whole may have already reached its peak. However, the city of San Antonio is not there yet.

“… It depends on the model you are looking at. If you go to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, which is a frequently cited source, they think cases in Texas peaked around January 4 and are starting to decline. But if you look at our local data, we keep increasing steadily. And that doesn’t mean we’re going to cap until the end of January, ”said Dr Berggren.

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The prediction comes after a record number of COVID-19 cases were reported by the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District on Wednesday, with 7,704 new cases in a single day. This is the highest number of cases the city has seen in a single day so far in the pandemic.

As of Thursday, cases declined slightly but were not far behind, reaching 5,781 cases, the data showed.

Dr Berggren said this local increase is not surprising, given what is being seen nationally. However, the good news is that the omicron variant does not cause symptoms as severe as delta in many patients.

“This is not surprising, given what we’ve seen around the world about the infectivity of omicron. And remember that even though these numbers are very high and increasing, we are not seeing the same degree of hospitalization from omicron as before, ”said Dr Berggren. “We are still seeing full hospitals, but we are not seeing the devastating impact on mortality that we had seen with the delta variant.”

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If you contract the virus, Dr Berggren said there are some things you should do.

For starters, if you have symptoms that are not life threatening, she recommends that you contact a doctor or primary care physician to determine next steps.

“If you have symptoms that do not seem to be life threatening, such as headache, fever, fatigue, cough, loss of smell or taste … a reasonable thing to do is call a doctor or a healthcare practitioner and discuss your symptoms. You will be told to stay home. Do not go to work or school, wear a mask and stay away from other people, including your own home, ”said Dr Berggren. “You should be doing this for at least five days. “

However, there are a few symptoms you need to watch out for that may indicate you need to go to the emergency room right away, according to Dr. Berggren.

“New or unusual chest pain or shortness of breath, inability to retain fluids due to vomiting, or altered consciousness. A change in mental state, which would be confusion or extreme fatigue, extreme lethargy, ”said Dr. Berggren.

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She added that if your oxygen level is below 94% for more than a few minutes, you should go to the emergency room for evaluation and further treatment.

You can watch the full Q&A interview with Dr. Berggren in the video player above.

Thursday’s COVID-19 numbers

The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District reported 5,781 new cases of COVID-19 in Bexar County on Thursday.

Health officials also reported a 7-day moving average of 4,841 cases. There were nine new deaths, according to the data.

ALSO ON KSAT.COM: 5 graphs show increase in COVID-19 in San Antonio

There are 982 COVID patients in local hospitals, including 206 in intensive care and 73 on ventilators. Metro Health’s dashboard shows that there are 9% of staffed beds available and 65% of ventilators available.

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On Tuesday, Metro Health’s dashboard reported a 31% positivity rate for this week, a 3.7% increase from the 27.3% reported last week.

See more of today’s COVID-19 statistics and city resources for the public here.

City health officials offer the following testing guidelines

  • Consider using a self-test before joining indoor gatherings with other people outside your household.

  • A positive self-test result means you have infection and should avoid indoor gatherings to reduce the risk of spreading the disease to someone else.

  • A negative self-test result means that you Maybe not have an infection. Repeating the test with at least 24 hours between tests will increase confidence that you are not infected.

  • Ask your health care provider if you need help interpreting your test results.

Click here to access more information on other toll-free testing sites in town.

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