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How fast can omicron spread?

Doctors say it’s so contagious you can spread it even before you test positive or a day after you’re initially infected.

SAN DIEGO — The news about omicron spreading rapidly has been the topic of conversation recently. Doctors say it’s so contagious you can spread it even before you test positive or a day after you’re initially infected.  

"Yes, a lot of people are getting omicron. There is a lot of infection around. It is very very transmissible," said Dr. Monica Gandhi. 

Gandhi, is an infectious disease expert and said the omicron variant is about four times more contagious than the delta variant. It also causes symptoms quicker than previous variants. With previous variants, you could show symptoms within two to four days. With omicron, it could be as soon as one day after infection but there is a silver lining

"It causes a wall of immunity. So much immunity is going to go around from so many people seeing this variant that it’s going to crawl the pandemic, and possibly push us into the end of the second phase." Dr. Gandhi said.

Gandhi said unless you lock yourself in your home and wait until this passes, you’re more than likely going to get this variant.  

"The problem with the SARS-CoV-2, you’re contagious two days before your symptoms and that has been the problem with this virus all along," said Gandhi.

Doctor Jerome Robinson is a cardiologist at Sharp. He said there are a few things you can do to keep yourself safe.  

"Even though you’ve had a booter you can get this virus but the good thing it protects you once you’re vaccinated [it] protects you from severe illness hospitalization and death," said Robinson.

He also suggests getting a well-fitted mask and double masking when out of the house.  

Doctors recommend for isolating for five days minimum if you show any symptoms. Click here to find COVID testing centers in San Diego.

WATCH RELATED: San Diego doctors explain why people should not want to get omicron to 'get it over with' 

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