SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Utah Health officials are sending another warning of the dangers surrounding the Omicron variant and how potent it is. Ahead of the holiday’s doctors say vaccination or a COVID test sits at the top of the list of being protected. One woman we spoke with shares her experience as being a COVID long-hauler.
Utah doctors say the latest variant of the virus, omicron, is already on track to be one of the most transmissible variants. According to recent tests at Intermountain Healthcare, 30% of those are probable omicron in our state.
Dr. Stephen Goldstein a virologist at University of Utah Health says “Omicron is here in Utah and it’s rising in frequently rapidly.”
He says vaccines still work against omicron but your shot at being fully protected will come from a booster, but a vaccine should keep you from a severe illness…which is something one woman ABC4 spoke to knows all too well.
“It wasn’t until about day 7 or 8 when it really hit me and that’s when i went to the hospital, and my breathing was really low.”
that’s how Lacey Haddon describes her early experience with becoming infected with COVID-19.
She tells ABC4 that she was infected with the virus in the middle of November in addition to being diagnosed with pneumonia.
After a week in the hospital and a few weeks later, Lacey is still on an oxygen machine.
“My doctor said it might be another month, depends how my breathing is,” says Haddon.
Doctors say with Christmas just days away and the new year just around the corner it’s a good time to get a booster or at least a vaccine, which Lacey hadn’t done yet but now it’s at the top of her list.
She said her doctors told her “because of how hard it did hit my body that chances of me landing back into the hospital again if i don’t get vaccinated are high.”
For Haddon, this holiday will be much different than in years past.
“Before, I could go from house to house visiting family, now I can just see one person and it completely wipes me out.”
Fatigue and low breathing remain a major concern, but Lacey says for now until she’s fully recovered, she is taking the proper precautions to make sure her family is safe as this experience has been one, she hopes doesn’t repeat.
“Wear a mask, washing your hands, doing everything you can do to prevent it, because it’s scary” says Haddon.