The omicron variant of the coronavirus may be as transmissible as diseases like the measles, a health expert warned Friday.
Speaking with NY1 "News All Day" anchor Ruschell Boone, Dr. David Reich, president of Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai Queens, said colleagues who conduct research on infectious diseases are ringing the alarm bells over the new variant.
"Some of my infectious disease colleagues say it appears to be as transmissible as diseases like measles, which are very transmissible,” Reich said. “So if children were in a classroom or people go to an event like a wedding or a larger party, it could spread to multiple individuals at the same time. So that's why a more transmissible variant such as omicron is of such great concern."
Reich also stressed the importance of getting fully vaccinated, wearing masks and scaling back on public gatherings for now.
The news comes as the city deals with another wave of coronavirus infections.
According to the state health department, there were more than 21,000 new cases reported Friday, and 60 deaths statewide over the last two days.
The city, meanwhile, saw 10,286 positive cases reported Friday, and 143 hospitalizations due to COVID on Wednesday.