How worried should Kansas City be about the BA.5 variant?
The new BA.5 variant is making its way throughout the country — and you aren't necessarily immune, even if you recently recovered from COVID. A health expert talks us through what Kansas Citians should do to stay safe.
Many across Kansas City have forgone their masks during this new stage of the pandemic, but the omicron BA.5 variant spells trouble even for those who have already been infected. Kansas City is currently seeingan average of 75 new hospitalizations and over 380 cases per day, although a lack of testing means that case numbers are likely higher.
"It is very contagious, it may evade vaccine immunity, and in individuals who have been infected in the past, they may get re-infected," says Dr. Mary Anne Jackson, dean of the UMKC School of Medicine. "It underscores the importance, though, of the fact that it appears likely that vaccine is holding up and preventing the most serious consequences of these cases, including hospitalization, intensive care units and death."
KCUR's Nomin Ujiyediin spoke with Jackson about how Missourians should stay prepared during this next phase of COVID-19 — including potentially wearing masks indoors.
Kansas City Today is hosted by Nomin Ujiyediin. It is produced by Byron Love, Trevor Grandin and KCUR Studios and edited by Gabe Rosenberg and Lisa Rodriguez.
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