Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on email
Email

Omicron’s warning

Early data on the Omicron variant indicates it may more easily reinfect people who have already had the virus or are vaccinated compared to previous variants, but it could cause milder disease, the World Health Organization said.

“Emerging data from South Africa suggests increased risk of reinfection with Omicron,” WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters, adding that “there is also some evidence that Omicron causes milder disease than Delta.”

It was stressed that more data was needed before drawing firm conclusions, and countries were urged to boost surveillance to help provide a clearer picture of how Omicron is behaving.

The assessments give hope amidst global concern over the heavily mutated variant which has forced nations to reimpose border restrictions and raised the specter of a return to economically harsh lockdowns.

However, even if Omicron does cause less severe disease, Tedros warned against slacking off vigilance against the virus. WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan agreed, pointing out that so far the data indicates the variant is “efficiently transmitting, and probably more efficiently transmitting even than the Delta variant.”

Even if Omicron turns out to be less dangerous than previous variants, it can still be a problem if it transmits more rapidly. This means we have to redouble efforts to break chains of transmission to protect ourselves and others because it could still infect more people and overburden health systems.

The WHO experts also stressed the importance of vaccination, highlighting that even if vaccines prove less effective against Omicron, they are still expected to provide significant protection against severe disease.

The Omicron variant reminds us that the war against the COVID-19 is far from over and even if it may turn out to be not as worrisome as it initially looked, we should continue to shore up our defenses through vaccination so we can minimize the chances of further variants developing while staying always prepared for the worst.*

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on email
Email
ARCHIVES

Read Article by date

June 2022
MTWTFSS
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930 

Get your copy of the Visayan Daily Star everyday!

Avail of the FREE 30-day trial.