WHO Issues Travel Advisory Due to Omicron Variant

A Bay Area medical expert says the travel advisory for people 60 and older and those with certain health conditions goes too far, too soon

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The World Health Organization issued a new travel advisory Tuesday because of the new omicron coronavirus variant.

WHO is recommending that people 60 and older and those with certain health conditions postpone their travel plans for now. A Bay Area medical expert said that's going too far, too soon.

"It may not be worse than delta. It may actually have some silver lining," Dr. George Rutherford, a professor at UCSF's School of Medicine, said.

It's very preliminary findings, Rutherford said, but still something to feel positive about when it comes to the omicron variant, even while delta still proves to be menacing.

"Clinical disease may be less severe with this variant," he said.

Rutherford said health leaders will know more by mid-December after the omicron variant becomes more prevalent globally.

"I think you have to take travel warnings seriously," he said. "I think it’s awfully preliminary though based on very sketchy knowledge."

Until more is known, Rutherford encourages vaccinations and staying up to date on all shots because they still might save people from all versions of the coronavirus.

"I suspect they’re going to respond pretty much the same as they have for other things," he said. "Maybe not as perfectly but pretty close."

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