By Brooke Katz

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Omicron variant is now in 29 states according to the CDC, including cases here in North Texas.

“It does appear that the evidence is going to show that it’s a little less severe,” said Dr. Joseph Chang, the Chief Medical Officer at Parkland Health and Hospital System. “It’s much less severe than the delta variant, and a little less severe than the original virus.”

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Right now it’s still the Delta variant driving cases and hospitalizations in the United States. While the symptoms may be milder in the case of Omicron, doctors say a downside appears to be its ability to get around immunity, both from natural infection and the vaccines.

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“There is some degree of protection lost, to what extent we’re not sure,” said Dr. Nikhil Bhayani, an infectious disease expert with Texas Health Resources.

Both doctors said as we head towards another holiday filled with family and friends, to enjoy but be safe.

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“Everybody please get vaccinated,” said Dr. Chang. “We need family. We need loved ones. We need that human connection. I would never discourage that, but do it safely.”