Will everyone get infected with Omicron? Here's what WHO has to say

  • On a query regarding if everyone will eventually get Omicron, WHO's technical lead said that Omicron is less severe than Delta but it can still lead to the full spectrum of the disease.
File photo of Maria Van Kerkhove, Head of Emerging Diseases and Zoonosis at the World Health Organization (WHO).(REUTERS)
File photo of Maria Van Kerkhove, Head of Emerging Diseases and Zoonosis at the World Health Organization (WHO).(REUTERS)
Published on Jan 24, 2022 09:49 AM IST
Copy Link
By | Written by Sharmita Kar | Edited by Amit Chaturvedi

With Omicron overtaking pre-existing coronavirus variants like Alpha, Beta and the deadly Delta across the world at a rapid pace, the World Health Organization's technical lead has urged to remain cautious as the variant is ‘efficiently transmitted between people’.

Replying to query at a programme, WHO technical lead Maria Van Kerkhove said that Omicron is less severe than Delta but it can still lead to the full spectrum of disease as seen in the previous strains. 

"People who are infected with Omicron have the full spectrum of disease, everything from asymptomatic infection all the way through severe disease and death," she replied to a question on why people still ended up in the hospital or died.

"People with underlying conditions, people with advanced age, people who are unvaccinated can have a severe form of Covid-19 following infection from Omicron," Kerkhove said.

On a query regarding if everyone will eventually get Omicron, the WHO tech lead said, "Omicron is overtaking Delta in terms of circulation, and it is very efficiently transmitted between people."

Also Read | ‘Omicron will find everybody’: Fauci as US on 'threshold' of living with Covid

Kerkhove noted that although cases were high around the world, it still did not mean that everybody will get Omicron.

The UN health agency had previously said that the preliminary evidence indicates that the available vaccines against Covid-19 may be less effective against Omicron transmission, which also carries a higher risk of reinfection.

"As a result of this, the overall risk related to the new variant of concern Omicron remains very high," it had said earlier this month.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had also reiterated that the pandemic was far from over. 

"This pandemic is nowhere near over," he had told reporters from the agency's headquarters in Geneva in response to people dismissing Omicron as a mild infection.

Currently, the United States is at the top of the chart for coronavirus cases, followed by India at the second spot.

However, US President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci has expressed optimism that the Omicron surge will soon peak, though the decline won’t be uniform throughout the US.

 

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • The palms of a monkeypox case patient from Lodja, a city located within the Katako-Kombe Health Zone, are seen during a health investigation in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1997. 

    Evening brief: France, Belgium, Germany join list of nations with monkeypox

    Here are today's top news, analysis, and opinion. Know all about the latest news and other news updates from Hindustan Times. France, Belgium, Germany join growing list of nations with monkeypox cases France, Germany and Belgium confirmed their first cases of the monkeypox virus on Friday, joining European nations Spain, Italy, Portugal and Sweden, and Canada, Australia and the United States in reporting a disease endemic to parts of Africa.

  • Chicago shooting: 2 dead, 8 injured after firing at restaurant, say police (Representational image)

    Chicago shooting: 2 dead, 8 injured after firing at restaurant, say police

    Two people are dead and another eight wounded following a shooting near a fast food restaurant in Chicago that sent bystanders scattering, authorities said. The shooting happened about 10:40 p.m. Thursday near a McDonald's on the city's Near North Side, a few blocks from the city's Magnificent Mile shopping district. One person was taken into custody and a weapon was recovered, police said in statement.

  • FILE PHOTO: An image created during an investigation into an outbreak of monkeypox, which took place in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 1996 to 1997. CDC/Brian W.J. Mahy/Handout via REUTERS./File Photo

    France, Belgium, Germany join growing list of nations with monkeypox cases

    France, Germany and Belgium confirmed their first cases of the monkeypox virus on Friday, joining European nations Spain, Italy, Portugal and Sweden, and Canada, Australia and the United States in reporting a disease endemic to parts of Africa. Belgian experts said two cases - in two different cities - had been detected. Spain reported 14 new cases today to take its cumulative caseload to 21.

  • A view shows a Huawei logo at Huawei Technologies France headquarters in Boulogne-Billancourt near Paris, France. (REUTERS/ FILE)

    Canada to ban China’s Huawei, ZTE from 5G networks over national security concerns

    The Canadian government announced on Thursday that it is banning Chinese telecommunications firms Huawei and ZTE from its fifth generation (5G) infrastructure to protect national security. In the 21st century, cybersecurity is national security.

  • The weapons used are believed to include a mobile laser system first announced by Vladimir Putin in 2018 and which, Russia claims, can blind orbiting satellites as well as destroy drones.

    ‘Peresvet' and ‘Zadira': What we know about Russia's new laser weapons

    Russia on Friday claimed to have used powerful laser weapons in its brutal war on Ukraine; Moscow said the 'next generation' weapons had been used to burn up drones launched by Ukrainian forces. Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky appears unworried (for now) and has taunted Russia, comparing the laser weapons to 'wonder weapons' promised by Nazi Germany to stave off defeat in World War II.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Friday, May 20, 2022