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Experts have condemned the practice of hosting a Covid-19 party, where people get together to spread the virus in the hope of higher immunity.
Coronavirus parties have gained popularity during the Omicron wave, which is highly transmissible and responsible for tens of thousands of cases in Australia every day.
While the symptoms may be milder than other variants, experts are still concerned about the attitude of attempting to catch the virus to 'get it over with' or boost immunity.
Experts have warned that it's still possible to get very sick from the Omicron variant and even die.
Queensland chief health officer, John Gerrard, called COVID parties 'utterly ridiculous' and urged people to stop.
"The best way to get immunity to this virus is through vaccination, not through these parties," he said.
"Please, please stop."
University of South Australia chair of bio-statistics and epidemiology, Adrian Esterman, told the ABC he was incredibly concerned with how people were treating the virus.
Right now in Queensland, unvaccinated people are 9x more likely to be hospitalised compared to people who have had their COVID-19 vaccine booster.
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- Queensland Health (@qldhealth) January 12, 2022
"You hear stories of people having COVID parties to try and actually get infected. They're playing with their lives and the lives of their loved ones," Esterman said.
"Even though younger people are less likely to get sick and die - some do.
"We get 30-year-olds, who are dying from Covid-19 without any other pre-existing illnesses.
"So, it's a bit like Russian roulette. It's up to them if they're willing to take that chance."
He also warned that up to a third of people who are infected with the virus end up with long-term health problems from coronavirus, which can cause serious issues, even in healthy individuals.
"They can be things like pain, headache, brain fog, trouble breathing, nerve problems. In fact, COVID-19 can affect just about every organ of the body," he said.
There is no way to tell how your body will react to the virus and the best way to improve your immunity is to get the vaccine and the booster when possible.
Early data shows Australians who have received the booster shot following their two vaccination jabs are up to 70 per cent more protected against the virus and less likely to pass it on should they contract it.
Current regulations say Australians should receive their booster shot four months after their second vaccination jab.
"Unless you get your booster, you get almost no protection against being infected with Omicron and we're seeing that now in the case numbers," Esterman told ABC.
Dr David Wohl, professor of medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the UNC School of Medicine, said that while it's likely your body will be able to fight coronavirus better after you contract it, there are no guarantees you won't get it again.
Should the virus continue to mutate and another strain become a threat there is also no proof current immunities will be as effective against other strains.
"I wish you can say, once you catch COVID, you never catch it again. This is not that kind of virus," he said.
So far 43.8 per cent of people over 18 around the country have received their booster shot.
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