Omikron still poses a major risk

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Geneva. A high degree of infectivity means that the omicron variant of coronavirus still poses a major risk to public health.

It writes the World Health Organization (WHO) in its weekly epidemiological update.

– Data consistently show that the omicron variant has a greater growth potential than the delta variant with a doubling time of between two and three days as well as lightning-fast increases in infection rates, as can be seen in several countries, writes WHO.

According to the WHO, the large increases in infection rates are probably due to the fact that the variant is more resistant to antibodies and that the variant is more contagious than previous variants.

The recent data from countries such as the United Kingdom, South Africa and Denmark suggest that infection with omicron may give rise to milder disease courses.

However, there is still insufficient data that can say anything definitive about how serious a disease course omikron gives rise to.

It is also not yet known how people react to omicron infection if they have already been infected with coronavirus in the past.

According to the WHO, last week there was a drop in the number of new cases of infection of 11 percent worldwide.

This corresponds to a decrease of almost five million new cases of infection and approximately 44,000 deaths, according to the WHO.

The omicron variant became the dominant variant of coronavirus in Denmark shortly before Christmas.

Also in the UK, omicron is now the most prevalent form of coronavirus. On Monday, the British Minister of Health, Sajid Javid, said that nine out of ten new cases of infection were with omicron.

/ ritzau / AFP

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