Will the omicron variant move us from a pandemic to an endemic?

BOLWING GREEN, Ky.- There’s been talk of the omicron variant getting us from a pandemic to an endemic, which is something like the common cold or flu. 

The definition of an endemic is when a disease or virus is constantly present in the community….and we are seeing Covid numbers higher than we’ve ever seen before. 

“Just the sheer number of people infected with Covid-19 from the omicron variant right now, if you compare our current peak with the peak before delta it’s like roughly around 3 times more,” said Med Center Health Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Santos. 

An endemic would mean that Covid would be more easily transmissible, less severe, and more manageable. 

The more people that are infected, the more immunity the population has. Immunity is the key factor in turning a pandemic to an endemic. 

“It’ll definitely play a role in ending the pandemic in not eradicating Covid-19 but going into what people are saying is the endemic phase,” said Santos. 

But Dr. Santos says she doesn’t think the omicron variant will be the one to end the pandemic.  

“Will there be more variants? Yes, I guarantee there’s going to be more variants. Because that’s what viruses do. They mutate. But the big question is with these oncoming variants, do we have the immunity to be protected against those types of variants with what we have now,” said Santos.