Omicron Virus Appears Milder

Omicron Virus appears milder, but concern remains.

The current wave of Omicron appears to be milder according to preliminary studies published in the UK and South Africa.

Early evidence suggests fewer people need hospital treatment than with other variants – with estimates ranging from a 30% to a 70% reduction.

But the concern remains that even if Omicron is milder, the sheer number of cases could also overwhelm hospitals.

More than 100,000 cases reported in the UK in a single day for the first time.

A deeper understanding of the severity of Omicron will help countries decide how to respond to the virus. Omicron Virus Appears Milder

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The study in Scotland has been tracking corona virus and the number of people ending up in hospitals.

It said that if Omicron behaved the same as the Delta variant, they would expect about 47 people admitted to hospital already. At the moment there are only 15.

Omicron Virus Appears Milder

Researchers said they were seeing a roughly two-thirds reduction in the number needing hospital care, but there were very few cases and few at-risk elderly people in the study.

Dr Jim McMenamin, the national Covid-19 incident director at Public Health Scotland, described it as a “qualified good news story”.

He said the data was “filling in a blank” about protection against hospitalization. But cautioned it was “important we don’t get ahead of ourselves”.

The Omicron variant is spreading incredibly quickly and a high number of cases could wipe out any benefit of it being milder.

Prof Mark Woolhouse, from the University of Edinburgh, said: an individual infection could be relatively mild for the vast majority of people, but the potential for all these infections to come at once would put a serious strain on the NHS

Meanwhile, another study in South Africa also points to the Omicron wave being milder.

This showed people were 70-80% less likely to need hospital treatment, compared to previous waves, or other variants currently circulating.

However, it suggested there was no difference in outcomes for the few patients that ended up in hospital with Omicron.