When the Omicron Wave is Expected to End in Oklahoma
Beverly Cantrell - January 18, 2022 6:43 am
OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) — Even as COVID cases continue to climb at record-breaking rates, experts are predicting a peak is likely just around the corner.
According to Oklahoma State Medical Association President, Dr. Mary Clarke, the variant that’s currently spreading like wildfire is expected to burn out just as quickly.
“Hit very fast and burn hot. That’s pretty much what we’ve seen,” she said.
With ICUs across the metro completely maxed out, hospitals are especially hopeful the surge that’s sent them spiraling will also be swift.
“Anything is a relief for healthcare workers. You know, we’re all trying to keep our head above water until we can get past this next surge,” said Dr. Clarke.
She says the fast and furious fourth wave will start to decline in Oklahoma within the next two weeks. It’s something we’re already seeing nationally.
However, Dr. Clarke says an uptick in hospitalizations and deaths will continue to lag for at least a month.
“So we’re still not out of the woods yet even if the case is turned down,” she explained.
Another lingering threat according to Dr. Clarke, is those who think we’ve now reached natural herd immunity.
“Because we know we know now that the antibodies and the ability to fight the infection wane over a relatively short period of time,” she said.
Dr. Clarke says the antibodies you get from being infected with COVID fade after just 90 days, whereas immunity from the vaccines lasts around 6 months.
Meaning, if Oklahomans continue with relatively low vaccination rates, when another variant hits, “We very well could be back in the same place and I think that’s pretty discouraging for some of our physicians and a lot of the hospital staff.”