Studies give evidence of a rather mild course of the disease with Omikron. Experts warn that the results from the laboratory are not so easily transferable.
Frankfurt / London – The omicron variant of the corona virus is currently spreading rapidly around the world. The experts are particularly concerned about the high infection rate of the mutant, which ensures that Omikron has already supplanted the previously prevalent delta variant in some countries.
In Great Britain, for example, the number of daily new corona infections exceeded the threshold of 100,000 for the first time. The government announced on Wednesday (December 22nd, 2021) in London that 106,122 infections were registered within 24 hours. The main reason for the veritable explosion in the number of infections in the kingdom is the omicron variant of the coronavirus.
Coronavirus: Omicron variant probably makes less sick than Delta
However, studies seem to suggest that Omikron may cause less disease than the Delta variant. In any case, the preliminary results of two studies from Great Britain published on Wednesday suggest that infections with Omikron are less likely to result in hospitalization than Delta. In doing so, they confirm earlier findings from South Africa, where the Omikron variant was first registered.
In a study in Scotland, researchers looked at Covid cases recorded in November and December. They compared infections with the omicron variant with those of the delta variant. The study found that Omikron reduced the risk of hospitalization for Covid-19 by two-thirds compared to Delta, and that a booster vaccination offered significant additional protection against symptomatic illnesses.
The number of cases in the study was small, however, and no people under the age of 60 were hospitalized. Study author Jim McMenamin told journalists that the study results were conditionally “good news” – conditionally because they were early observations that were “statistically significant”.
Corona: The number of hospital stays at Omikron is falling
Another study in England found that Omikron’s total hospital stays decreased by 20 to 25 percent compared to Delta. The number of stays in hospital that lasted a night or more fell by as much as 40 to 45 percent. The Scottish study only looked at stays of at least one night, so this could explain part of the difference found.
Azra Ghani from Imperial College London, who co-authored the English study, said: “The reduced risk of hospitalization with the Omikron variant is reassuring, but the risk of infection remains extremely high.” A booster of the vaccination “continues to offer the best protection.” Infections and hospital stays. “
Omikron variant: Experts urge restraint
However, experts warned against excessive optimism. Penny Ward, Professor of Pharmaceutical Medicine at King’s College London, who was not involved in the studies, said they “did nothing to change the extraordinary spread of this variant in the population.” It is a fact that “even a small proportion of people who have to be treated in hospital for Covid can become a very large number if the number of infections in the population continues to rise.”
Infectiologist Isabella Eckerle from the University of Geneva also warned: “At the moment, the data on the severity of the disease from Omikron still seem a bit too thin to be able to make general statements.” The data from the laboratory “can only be compared with the actual data with great caution Extrapolate the situation in humans, ”said Eckerle. The infection in humans is “much more complex”. (cs / afp / dpa)
List of rubric lists: © Ben Birchall / dpa