Omicron Changes The Direction Of COVID Pandemic, WHO Says

Omicron Changes The Direction Of COVID Pandemic, WHO Says

On Wednesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that the highly mutated Omicron variant of COVID-19 might change the pandemic course completely. 

WHO Director-General Tan Desai said that the exact impact is still difficult to determine. Scientists worldwide are scrambling to determine the infectiousness and lethality of mutant viruses.

According to the WHO, genetic changes in the virus affect its virulence. This indicates that it may be more contagious than previous strains.

Preliminary evidence from South Africa may indicate that Omicron is milder than the delta strain. However, it is too early to conclude. Patients with a milder course of the disease in this country may not have gone through the entire infection process.

However, susceptible patients who are older, unvaccinated, or have underlying diseases have a much higher risk of serious illness.

When the WHO made the above remarks, the scientists found the Omicron variant first in Southern Africa.

The WHO added that new global cases leveled out last week. More than 4 million new confirmed cases have been reported globally, similar to the previous week’s figures.

However, the WHO report points out that the global death toll increased by 10% last week. According to reports, the new death toll exceeds 52,500.

On Tuesday, South African scientists released a small preliminary study on the impact of Omicron on vaccine effectiveness.

Study shows Omicron reduces antibody protection produced by Pfizer and BioNT vaccines

However, scientists point out that those who have recovered from the virus and received booster injections may get more protection from serious diseases.

Earlier this week, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla stated that if necessary, the company could develop a vaccine against the new variant by March 2022. He pointed out that it will take several weeks to determine whether current vaccines can adequately protect against Omicron.

The White House’s chief medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, told reporters on Tuesday that scientists should get some data on the vaccine’s efficacy against this new variant by the middle of next week.

According to the EU public health agency, Omicron has been found in 21 countries in the European Union and the European Economic Area.