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Alaska’s Chief Medical Officer answers questions on latest COVID-19 variant

Published: Nov. 29, 2021 at 12:49 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Alaska’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Anne Zink, offered some answers relating to the latest COVID-19 variant, Omicron, on Monday.

In a series of Twitter posts, Zink referenced current data and medical knowledge to discuss the emerging variant, which was first seen in South Africa and gained global notoriety last week. Zink explained what she described as the “good, the bad and the ugly” over nine separate Twitter posts threaded together.

In one of the posts, Zink said that no Omicron cases have yet been identified in Alaska or any U.S. states, noting that Alaska is one of the country’s leaders in sequencing data, which leads to more efficient monitoring of the virus in the state.

She also wrote the Omicron strain appears to be very transmissible and has more mutations than any other coronavirus variant so far, and said that the best method of reducing its impact on Alaska is to get a COVID-19 vaccine, writing that “even imperfect protection is better than little to no protection”.

Zink’s posts come on the same day that Alaska joined nine other states in a federal court order to block a White House vaccine mandate for health care workers, and as President Joe Biden attempted to assuage national fears of the new variant.

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