Updates on Omicron | UNH is healthy

New information about the Omicron . variant

Presence and symptoms

Omicron is sweeping the country, with 800,000 new cases every day. These variants account for about 99.5 percent of new cases in the United States. As the number of cases increases, so does our knowledge of the variant. The variant’s incubation period, or the length of time from when a person is first infected to the onset of symptoms, is three days. This process is two days faster than the original version of COVID. Thankfully, Omicron seems less serious. Symptoms of Omicron include:

  • Cough

  • Stuffy nose

  • Snivel

  • Sore throat

  • Tired

Research also found that unlike Delta, which tends to affect your lungs, Omicron seems to replicate in the upper respiratory tract. This is one reason why variation tends to be less severe. Another study found that antibodies produced after an Omicron infection help protect against Delta, another variant of COVID.

Inspection and Quarantine

Because the incubation period of Omicrons is so short, there is a much narrower window for catching infection before transmission. A rapid test two to four days after exposure is recommended to check for infection. We also recommend that if you are attending an event, try to take the quick test as close to the actual event as possible.

With that, new CDC guidance allows infected people to be isolated after five days if they show no symptoms. After these five days, you should still try to keep your distance and wear a mask that fits. You should also take the quick test at the end of the five-day period.


Enhanced firing is essential in the fight against Omicron. Not only do they reduce the risk of people getting infected, but boosters keep those infected from going to the hospital. Recent studies show boosters are 90% effective at stopping people from going to the hospital. The CDC recommends that everyone over 12 years of age get a booster shot.

The COVID pandemic is always changing and new research and information is constantly being discovered. Health and Wellness has many resources and updates related to COVID. Do your part to keep our community safe by wearing masks, getting tested and getting booster shots!

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