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Reports Show Reduced Severity of Early Omicron Variant

Credit: Unsplash

Since the emergence of the Omicron variant from South Africa a few weeks ago, it has quickly become the dominant strain in the region, surpassing the Delta variant. Despite ongoing transmission and resulting hospitalizations, there is a hopeful observation: hospitalizations do not appear to have significantly increased. This could indicate that although Omicron is highly contagious, possibly more so than Delta, it might have a less severe impact on the human body.

Chief medical adviser to the President, Dr. Anthony Fauci, expressed, “At this point, it doesn’t seem to be highly severe. However, we must exercise caution before concluding that it is less severe or causes less severe illness compared to Delta.”

Once more information is gathered about Omicron, the US may consider easing travel restrictions on certain African countries, provided that standard COVID safety measures are maintained. Fauci mentioned, “Hopefully, we can lift this ban within a reasonable timeframe. We understand the challenges faced by South Africa and other African nations.”

As of now, cases of Omicron-related COVID-19 have been detected in around a third of the United States, with Delta still being the dominant strain. Health experts advise the public to remain vigilant by continuing vaccinations and mask-wearing since even though Omicron may be less severe, it can still lead to serious cases of COVID-19 requiring hospitalization.

Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, an epidemiologist from the World Health Organization, emphasized, “Even if many cases are mild, some individuals will require hospitalization. They may need intensive care, and unfortunately, some may succumb. We want to prevent such outcomes amidst the existing challenges posed by the global circulation of Delta.”

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