According to the WHO, the omicron variant BA.2 does not lead to severe disease more frequently than the type BA.1, which has predominated worldwide to date.”We don’t see any difference (…) in terms of risk of hospitalization,” said Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO expert in charge of Corona. The results of an initially uncross-checked study with hamsters had suggested a higher risk of the pathogen.
In Denmark, subtype BA.2 currently accounts for the most significant proportion of new infections.
Two omicron infections in quick succession are possible
The BA.1 subtype of Omicron, which is currently dominant in most parts of the world, has been shown to cause severe disease much less frequently than previously prevalent corona pathogens such as Delta or Alpha. Because it is also significantly more contagious, the spread of Omicron led to massive increases in the number of cases. Still, health systems in most countries did not reach their capacity limits.
Initial reports of a perceived higher risk of severe courses with Omicron BA.2 had raised concern. The variant had recently spread in Europe, particularly in Denmark.
WHO physician Van Kerkhove gave in this regard on Tuesday now all-clear. And she also had positive things to report on another point: “When we see a decline in cases in countries, BA.2 doesn’t seem to lead to a resurgence.” That’s important, she said, because it suggests that surviving infection with one of the types probably protects against re-infection, at least for a time.
- source: k.at/picture: pixabay.com
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