The world is on alert due to the advance of the omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 and the explosive increase in the number of infections as a result of this situation.
For now, this variant is known to spread more quickly, but it would be less serious compared to the other mutations of the virus.
At least that is what a study published by the UK government, which notes that people are much less likely to be admitted to hospital with the omicron variant.
For its part, Health Security Agency of said territory estimates that people infected with omicron are between 31 and 45 percent less likely to attend an emergency room compared to patients with delta, and between 50 and 70 percent less likely to have to go to a hospital.
A “rare” and new disease
Scientists still know little about this variant. They agree that it is a new disease that could mean a new course for the coronavirus pandemic.
In conversation with BBC Radio, John Bell, professor of Medicine at the University of Oxford, assured that omicron is a totally different disease from the one known during the first year of the pandemic.
“Patients don’t need high-flow oxygen, the average length of stay is apparently three days. This is not the same disease that we saw a year ago ”, explained the expert.
Another important element that the first studies have revealed shows that immunity to subsequent infections with the omicron variant increased 14 times.
“If we’re lucky, omicron will be less pathogenic, and this immunity will help drive delta out,” said Alex Sigal of the African Health Research Institute.
It should be remembered that South Africa was the first country to detect the new variant of the virus. Precisely, this place has been transformed into a kind of natural laboratory where the behavior of the population in front of omicron is studied.
According to early research, South Africans who become infected are 80 percent less likely to require hospitalization if they contract the omicron variant, according to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases.
This scenario has led some authorities to delay the application of stricter restriction measures, since in many cities the number of patients admitted to hospitals is still considered lower and is far (for now) from approaching the figures of a year ago. year when the venues were collapsed due to the large amount of income.