CNBC reports that World Health Organization (WHO) officials are suggesting that future variants of the coronavirus will be as infectious as Omicron, or even more transmissible.
Whether they will be more or less deadly remains to be seen.
According to CNBC, almost 21 million new cases of COVID-19 were reported to the WHO in the last week.
Although Omicron has so far been less virulent than previous strains, WHO officials say the influx of new cases has had a devastating impact on hospitals around the world.
“The next variant that worries us will be more prepared, and what we mean by this is that it will be more transmissible, because it will have to overcome what is currently circulating,” says Maria Van Kerkhove, technical director of COVID-19 at the WHO through from CNBC.
“The big question is whether or not future variants will be more or less severe,” continues Maria Van Kerkhove, technical director of COVID-19 at the WHO via CNBC.
The coronavirus is not milder now
WHO officials warn against accepting the theory that COVID-19 is mutating into milder strains.
“We hope that this is the case, but there is no guarantee of this and we cannot trust it,” explains Maria Van Kerkhove, technical director of COVID-19 at the WHO via CNBC.
A UK Health Security Agency study found that booster doses of coronavirus vaccines are nearly 75% more effective at preventing symptomatic Omicron infections.
The study also concluded that after ten weeks , the protection from a booster dose declines dramatically, dropping to around 45% efficiency.