Three separate groups of scientists on two continents have found that omicron infections are more likely to cause mild illness than previous types of coronavirus. The new results give rise to the hope that, despite the sharp increase in cases, the results may not be so catastrophic.
According to the New York Times, researchers studied omicron garlic in populations in South Africa, Scotland and England. The results, while preliminary, all indicated that such people were less likely to be sent to the hospital.
Since the discovery of the omicron species in South Africa, scientists have been trying to determine if this species causes more severe disease than other species. New research suggests that the species may have biological characteristics that make it somewhat less dangerous than the delta, which has dominated the world since summer.
However, the reduction in Omicron risk in terms of hospitalization in all three countries appears to be largely due to the safety of these populations. Many infected people had protection against severe illness due to past infections or vaccinations.
While new research is encouraging, experts warn that an increase in cases in many countries may continue to fill hospitals with omicron cases; This is because it is much easier to spread than previous versions of the Corona virus.
Christina Ramirez, a biostatistics specialist at the University of California, Los Angeles, advised people to be careful, saying people should do a quick test before the holidays and gather outdoors, open windows or find other ways to improve ventilation. کردن.
While the omicron may cause milder disease on average, it also spreads faster than other species. Omicron is now the dominant species in the United States, Europe and many other parts of the world.
However, there was encouraging news from South Africa on Wednesday, indicating that the increase may not be as long as it used to be. Omicron has caused a sharp increase in daily cases, but officials reported that the wave of infections may have peaked.
As infections in the United States averaged 154,000 a day last week, officials added new defenses to combat globalization. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first Covid 19 treatment pill on Wednesday, which is a very effective treatment for severe illness. The drug, developed by Pfizer and called Paxlovid, has been approved for patients with Covid age 12 and older who are at risk for severe disease. According to Pfizer, the pill is likely to be effective against the omicron species.
Three studies in the United Kingdom and South Africa confirm that Americans will have some protection against severe disease due to vaccination and booster doses. More than 200 million Americans (more than 60 percent of the population) have been fully vaccinated. Of course, some countries have vaccinated more than 80% of their population. Only 63 million Americans have received booster doses, which provide the strongest protection against severe illness and infection caused by omicron.
The South African study has focused on increasing omicron cases since November. The researchers found that the risk of hospitalization was about 70 percent lower among people infected with the micronized virus than among people infected with other forms of the corona virus.
Milder cases may be due in part to the fact that omicron has been more successful in re-infecting people who have previously had Covid. While omicron can escape the antibodies of past infections and establish itself in the body, it may not be able to escape the strong but slower immune responses that prevent serious illness.
In South Africa, researchers estimate that about 70% of people had a Covid infection before the Omicron wave. About 30% of the population was also vaccinated. The authors could not separate infection protection from vaccination protection. They also warned that their data had been collected in the early stages of the omicron wave, when the overall infection rate was very low.
In Scotland, researchers looked at cases of delta and omicron in November and December and looked at how many patients with any infections were hospitalized. The researchers found that the risk of hospitalization for omicron infections was about two-thirds lower than for delta infections.
Mark Woolhaus, a professor of infectious diseases at the University of Edinburgh and co-author of the new study, said the dramatic increase in omicrons meant that even if the preliminary results were correct, it would still send more people to the hospital.
Also Wednesday, a team of researchers from Royal College London compared Omicron and Delta cases in the first two weeks of December and reported a drop in hospital admissions. The decline, however, was smaller than what Scottish researchers reported.
Preliminary estimates show that compared to delta cases, people with Omicron infection are 15 to 20 percent less likely to go to the hospital on average, and 40 to 45 percent less likely to be hospitalized overnight or more. The researchers were able to isolate the consequences of omicron infection in vaccinated people, or those who had previously been infected, or those who had no immunity. They endorsed the suggestion of South African researchers that acquired immunity played a role in alleviating omicron infections.
The difference between the results of the English and Scottish studies may also be due in part to differences in the subjects. The Royal College London team included people who had just been admitted to hospital, as well as people who had to be hospitalized for more serious illness. Scottish researchers only looked at hospital admissions.
Both teams warned scientists that their results were still preliminary. Omicron is still in operation and has not yet become widespread among older people who may be at higher risk. Even if individual cases are mild, omicron is still a serious risk to hospitals because cases are rising rapidly.
New findings show that people who have not been vaccinated and have not had Covid before are at higher risk, said William Hange, an epidemiologist at Harvard School of Public Health. “Because omicrons are spreading so fast, they are more likely to get them in the coming months,” he said. In this case, they will have no immunity to reduce the severity of the infection.
While new data on microns have been available over the past few weeks, there are still many questions about the status of the coming weeks. Chris Robertson, an epidemiologist at the University of Strathclyde and one of the authors of the Scottish study, warned that the holiday season was slowing down the data collection process they needed to update their findings.
A group of modelers working on a project called the Covid-19 Scenario Modeling Hub issued a statement on Wednesday warning: “The best information we have at present shows that the Omicron threat is imminent and that people and governments must be prepared to respond. “They should be proportionate.”