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Cornelius News

Atrium epidemiologist: ‘Expect break-through cases’

Dr. Katie Passaretti

Jan. 10. By Dave Yochum. With omicron as contagious as it appears, it may be best to avoid crowds even if you are vaccinated and boosted. “We have seen explosive increases in cases worldwide so far with this variant,” says Dr. Katie Passaretti, “and we are going to see an increase in cases here in the United States in the next few weeks.”

Passaretti says there will be breakthrough infections among those who are vaccinated—and even in some who were boosted.


Symptoms appear to be the same—body aches, headaches, cough—but they may be less severe, Atrium Health’s chief epidemiologist says.

Sheer numbers

Even if omicron puts only a third as many infected people in the hospital, if cases continue to rise and the variants infect three times as many people, the same number will end up in the hospital.

“We are going to see a marked increase in cases in the next few weeks,” Passaretti says. “But even if our rates of hospitalization are lower, this will impact our healthcare system, so we still need to do the most to we can to protect those who are most susceptible – people who are elderly, immunocompromised or unvaccinated. And we must protect our healthcare workers so that they can take care of others.”