Health officials across the globe are figuring out ways to prevent the further spread of the newest COVID-19 variant, Omicron.
Even though the strain has not yet been detected in the United States, Dr. Anthony Fauci issued a firm warning on Americans to be very careful.
Dr. Anthony Fauci talks about the seriousness of Omicron
Fauci said that Omicron would be more transmissible than the previous COVID-19 variants due to its mutations during his recent television interview. Even though his predictions haven't been confirmed, Fauci noted that it's best to make this assumption so that the public will be more careful.
The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) also said that Omicron has a bunch of mutations that suggest that it could evade protection of monoclonal antibodies and convalescent plasma for those that were already infected and recovered, as well as the vaccine.
"Even though the numbers [in South Africa] are relatively small, the ability to infect people who have recovered from infection and even people who have been vaccinated make us say: 'This is something you got to pay really close attention to and be prepared for something that's serious,'" Fauci said via the Huffington Post.
Newest COVID-19 variant Omicron first detected in South Africa
Omicron was first detected in Botswana on Nov. 11. Since then, a small number of cases have also been detected in Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Italy, and Germany.
The recent detection of Omicron in the United Kingdom resulted in a temporary travel ban from six South African countries. But the country's health secretary, Sajid Javid, said that the cases in the U.K. don't have direct links to South Africa.
Still, everyone is being asked to take extra precautions to prevent the further spread of the new COVID-19 variant.
Republicans slam Dr. Anthony Fauci, Joe Biden
Meanwhile, Fauci is receiving criticisms from Republicans for postponing the potential travel ban in the United States until after Thanksgiving.
Republican Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky sarcastically said that new variants do not spread on holiday weekends that is why a travel ban hasn't been imposed.
City Councilman Joe Borelli is also upset with Fauci. He couldn't help but wonder why Americans still take the White House chief medical adviser seriously.
Rep. Elise Stefanik also criticized Fauci and Joe Biden over the new possible COVID-19 restrictions. Stefanik said that Biden was first to criticize Donald Trump when he decided to impose travel restrictions into the United States last year, according to the New York Post.
Unvaccinated Americans should get the jab
According to Dr. William Schaffner, a professor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, the possibility of Omicron infiltrating the United States should be enough reason for unvaccinated Americans to get the jab finally.
Schaffner said that he hopes more people would take advantage of the COVID-19 vaccines available in their area in the next two weeks because getting inoculated will undoubtedly help.
And even though Omicron could be the worst COVID-19 variant yet, the professor said that he believes vaccines can still work against it, according to CNN.