A wide-ranging new study funded by the Centers for Disease Control indicates that the omicron variant of coronavirus is considerably less lethal and severe than earlier strains of the disease, a positive development for public health as the new variant becomes the predominant form of the disease.
The study- “Clinical outcomes among patients infected with Omicron (B.1.1.529) SARS-CoV-2 variant in southern California– was conducted by scientists in California, evaluated more than 50,000 cases of patients who incurred the omicron strain of coronavirus and more than 15,000 who were infected with the delta variant.
“During a period with mixed Delta and Omicron variant circulation, SARS-CoV-2 infections with presumed Omicron variant infection were associated with substantially reduced risk of severe clinical endpoints and shorter durations of hospital stay,” wrote the study’s authors regarding their finds.
The omicron variant was shown to be less severe in patients who are both fully vaccinated and unvaccinated. Compared to delta variant patients, omicron patients had a huge 91% drop in mortality and were 74% less likely to be admitted to a hospital ICU. Patients had a 53% decrease in symptomatic hospitalization.
Doctors in South Africa who originally identified the omicron variant warned against reactionary policies spurred by it, pointing to their own evidence suggesting that omicron was less severe than its predecessors, even while containing heightened transmissibility. The omicron variant has resulted in the
Viral diseases throughout history have tended to evolve over the course of their existence to buff their transmissibility, rather than their lethality. If the evolutionary path of the coronavirus continues in the direction seen with the omicron variant, it ranges from possible to likely that the disease could become more similar to the common cold, infecting countless millions on an annual or seasonal basis without causing the mass death witnessed during the worst moments of the coronavirus pandemic.
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