Omicron variant: WHO warns of rapid spread and potential "resistance" to vaccines

Omicron variant: WHO warns of rapid spread and potential “resistance” to vaccines

The Omicron variant of the new coronavirus, which has been identified in more than 60 countries, represents a “very high” risk globally, with some data suggesting some form of “resistance” to the vaccine and rapid spread, but clinical data on disease severity and according to the WHO. Globally (WHO), the cases of COVID-19 it cause remain fragmented.

In a technical note published on Sunday, the Geneva-based United Nations reaffirmed its initial assessment of a “extremely severe” general risk associated with this alarming form, and warns that preliminary data indicate an increase in cases again in South Africa, which is one One of the first countries where this alternative was identified.

The World Health Organization notes that “these data point to a potential phenomenon of immune escape and high transmission rates, which could lead to a new epidemic outbreak with severe consequences.”

So it appears that the antibodies of people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 or who have already been infected with the coronavirus are not enough to “neutralize” contamination by the Omicron variant, which likely has an increased ability to reinfect people. It is believed to be able to develop an immune response against this virus.

An increase in hospitalization?

With regard to cases of COVID-19 caused by contamination by the Omicron variant, the first data indicate that they could be less severe forms of those associated with infection by the delta variant, currently in the majority worldwide, especially in France.
“But more data is needed to understand the exact risk profile” for this variant, notes the WHO.

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The World Health Organization warns that “even if the severity (of covid-19 cases) is less important than the delta variable, we would expect hospitalizations to increase due to increased transmissibility,” stressing that the risks to health are significant. As well as in terms of the number of deaths.

Another example of how quickly this new strain is spreading, Britain’s health minister told Sky News on Monday that Omicron was spreading “enormously fast” in the UK and was responsible for around 40% of infections in London.

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