August 8, 2022

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With Omicron Instances Emerging, England Strikes to ‘Plan B’

(Newser) – Researchers may have a clue to why the omicron variant is spreading so...

(Newser)

Researchers may have a clue to why the omicron variant is spreading so quickly, and what its advantage could be over the original and delta strains. Omicron multiplies in a person’s bronchial tubes 70 times faster than the other two varieties, a study by the University of Hong Kong has found. The study is undergoing peer review now, USA Today reports. Researchers also found lung infections to be lesser with omicron than with the first coronavirus. That could mean omicron infections won’t be as dangerous, possibly even not as lethal. But the study’s principal investigator cautions that it might not be that simple.

Despite often being less of a threat to an infected person, omicron could well cause more cases of severe illness and death because it will reach so many people, Dr. Michael Chan Chi-wai said. “Taken together with our recent studies showing that the omicron variant can partially escape immunity from vaccines and past infection,” he said, “the overall threat from omicron variant is likely to be very significant.” Given that weather is turning colder, driving people inside, and holiday gatherings have begun, a US medical professor and administrator said, “This new variant has thrown us a curveball at the worst possible time.” Other indicators of the threat include:

State spread: Omicron cases have been reported in 37 states, per CNN. The CDC has complete data on 43 cases, of which 80% involve fully vaccinated patients, with 32% having had a booster shot. Some of those boosters had come with 14 days of the onset of symptoms, though. COVID count: New York City’s positivity rate in COVID-19 tests has doubled in the past three days, per the New York Times. Officials said they don’t know how many of those are omicron cases.Perspective: About 120,000 new COVID infections are being reported daily. That’s 40% more than two weeks ago but lower than the peak reached last winter.Omicron’s share: In a week, omicron cases in the US have risen from 0.4% of COVID infections to 2.9%, CDC figures show. Although delta still dominates the US, scientists said omicron could overtake it soon.In Europe: The number of people infected with omicron is doubling about every two days in Denmark. Britain reports about 200,000 people are contracting it every day. (Read more omicron variant stories.)

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Study Suggests Omicron Multiplies 70 Times Faster appeared first on maserietv.com.