Mircobiology lab at Son Espases Hopsital. | M. À. Cañellas

The omicron variant of COVID-19 already represents 25% of the positive cases in the Balearic Islands and in a few days it will become the predominant one since it will be present in more than half of the infected patients. This has been indicated by the head of the Microbiology Service of the Hospital de Son Espases, Dr. Antonio Oliver. Proof that this is a more contagious variant is that last week it represented only 8% of the positives. Dr. Oliver explained that this is a trend that is repeated in other communities and in the rest of Europe, although in the Balearic Islands it has arrived later because the first cases detected were controlled.

As for its contagiousness, it is a variant "much more transmissible than the Delta" and against which the vaccine offers less protection in terms of transmission. However, it does help to prevent the most serious symptoms that the virus can cause, Oliver explained. For this reason, he insisted on the importance of vaccination and, above all, of booster doses.

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Despite the fact that this is a new variant, the prevention measures are the same. Therefore, keeping a safe distance, avoiding crowds, wearing a mask and ventilating indoors are the main recommendations. It is also recommended to prioritise social contacts in small groups in order to minimize risk exposures.