Is “omicron” more contagious? WHO statement

World health organization expands knowledge about a new strain of coronavirus… In particular, the WHO believes that those who have had a previous history of COVID-19 have an increased risk of contracting the new strain, designated omicron, compared to other spreading variants.

Data that “omicron” is more dangerous than “delta” not enough yet, according to a special WHO statement released on November 28, 2021. Also, WHO cannot yet confirm fears that omicron is more transmissible, that is, it is more easily transmitted from person to person in comparison with other strains, including the delta strain. The increase in the number of hospitalizations in South Africa, according to the organization, may be associated with an increase in infected people, and not with a specific strain.

It takes several days to several weeks to assess the severity of the omicron. Also, a special group of WHO experts should evaluate the effectiveness of existing vaccines against the new strain that causes COVID-19. Vaccines, as a critical element of the system for reducing the severity of the course of the disease and reducing mortality, according to WHO, remain effective against a new strain identified in the south of the African continent.

Also symptoms associated with omicron infection, do not differ much from the symptoms when infected with other strains, the WHO stressed. The omicron is distinguished from the delta virus by about five dozen mutations. And 30 of these mutations cause medical concern. These are precisely the regions (areas of the spike protein) that interact with human cells and which are designed to interact with vaccines, says Professor Willem Hanek, director of the African Health Research Institute and vaccine specialist. He believes the omicron could reduce the effectiveness of current vaccines by 40%. True, other scientists disagree with him.

Meanwhile, omicron continues to spread around the world: three patients with this strain have been identified in Israel and the UK, and there is also a sick person in Belgium, Germany, Hong Kong, and Italy. Most infected in South Africa – about one and a half hundred people. To reduce the risk of spreading a new strain a number of countries have suspended flights with South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, as well as with Eswatini (previously this country was called Swaziland).

Source: Вести.Ru by

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