Christmas shoppers in London on December 23, 2021.
Hassan Essen | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images
LONDON – People with the Omicron Covid variant are less likely to be hospitalized than with the previous Delta strain, according to a UK government study published on Thursday.
The UK Health Protection Agency said individuals with omicrons are estimated to be 31% to 45% less likely to attend emergency departments, and 50-70% less likely to need hospital admission, than those with deltas. Chances are.
The UKHSA said the analysis is “preliminary and highly uncertain” due to the low number of omicron cases currently in hospital, the inability to effectively measure all previous infections, and the limited spread of the new variant.
The findings are based on 132 people who were admitted to or transferred to emergency departments. Of these, 17 people had received boosters, 74 people were double vaccinated and 27 were not vaccinated. Eight people had received the same shot, and for 6 people the vaccination status was unknown.
The study said 14 people, aged between 52 and 96, had died within 28 days of Omicron’s diagnosis.
UKHSA chief executive Jenny Harris said in a statement: “Our latest analysis shows an encouraging early indication that people who contract the Omron variant are at relatively lower risk of hospitalization than those who contract the other variant. I can be.”
“However, it should be noted that this is preliminary data and more research is needed to confirm these findings.”
The preliminary data matches similar findings from scientists from South Africa and research teams at Imperial College London and the University of Edinburgh.
Research published Tuesday by South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases found that people infected with Omicron were 80% less likely to be sent to hospital than other types. It also found a 70% reduction in the risk of serious illness for non-hospitalized individuals.
The study authors, who have not been peer-reviewed, cautioned that this may be due to higher immunity among the population, either from previous infection or vaccination. South African health officials also said the data should not be extrapolated to all countries.
In Scotland, researchers found that Omicron was two-thirds less likely to result in hospitalization, further emphasizing the importance of getting a booster shot.
It’s still early days, but preliminary findings give hope that the human and economic toll of the heavily mutated strain will not be as severe as initially feared. Omicron has spread like wildfire, resulting in the reimposition of restrictions in some countries as officials race to contain it.
Omicron’s high transmittance means that the risk of health systems being overloaded during the winter period is still high, however, due to the large number of infections more people will need hospital care.
Omicron was first identified in South Africa in November and has been labeled as a “type of concern” by the World Health Organization. The US is now reporting an average of more than 160,000 new daily infections, while the UK reported more than 100,000 cases for the second day in a row on Thursday.