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May 19, 2022

How Severe is the Effects of Omicron BA.2 Strain?

One of the most important questions on the minds of Belizeans at this time has to do with the severity of the Omicron BA.2 variant. To get some insight on this we turned to Doctor Fernando Cuellar at the Belize Medical Associates, whom we spoke with via zoom.


Dr. Fernando Cuellar

Dr. Fernando Cuellar, Internist, Belize Medical Associates

“It is just to say that it is what is in town so to speak. That is the new boy in town. But, it is pretty much following the pattern of the Omicron virus, the first one, where we see it causing a lot of infections, because it is highly transmissible. You could ketch it easy and quick. But, thankfully, and this is where the silver lining is if there is a silver lining, it is not leading into a lot of hospitalizations and deaths. Nevertheless, we will see an increase in hospitalizations, but not in the proportion we use to see before. Of course, those people who have underlying conditions will be at higher risk to be hospitalized and dying from this one, because of the underlying. But, I don’t think it is any reason to panic. I think it is reason to have in our minds that we still need to take care of ourselves, that the COVID is not going anywhere, and more than likely not going  away and not going away anytime soon. We will always have it around us. Interestingly the symptoms of this variant is different from the ones we came across last year and the year before. This one seems to affect more of the upper respiratory track, gives you a bad flu kind of thing nuh. So you get congested, runny nose, sore throat, and headache, and joint pains, as oppose to developing shortness of breath and the lower respiratory track involved. This one seems to affect your upper respiratory track. I think we have learnt to maneuver the whole work place scenarios. If you get sick you call in and I have seen any big controversy starting from any place of employment.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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