United Kingdom: hospitalization less likely with omicron | Kingman Daily Miner


LONDON – Preliminary data suggests that people with the omicron variant of the coronavirus are between 50% and 70% less likely to need hospitalization than those with the delta strain, the public health agency said on Thursday. British.

The UK Health Security Agency’s findings add to emerging evidence that omicron produces milder disease than other variants – but also spreads faster and escapes vaccines better.

The agency said based on cases in the UK, a person with omicron is estimated to be between 31% and 45% less likely to visit a hospital emergency department compared to a person with delta, “and 50 to 70% less likely to be admitted to hospital.”

He warned that the analysis is “preliminary and very uncertain” due to the small number of omicron patients in hospitals and the fact that most belonged to younger age groups. As of December 20, 132 people had been admitted to UK hospitals with a confirmed omicron, of which 14 – aged 52 to 96 – have died.

Scientists warn that any reduction in severity must be weighed against the fact that omicron spreads much faster than delta and is more likely to escape vaccines.

Agency research indicates that the protection offered by a vaccine booster against symptomatic omicron infection appears to wane after about 10 weeks, although protection against hospitalization and serious illness is likely to last longer. .

UKHSA chief executive Jenny Harries said the analysis “shows an encouraging early signal that people who contract the omicron variant may have a relatively lower risk of hospitalization than those who contract other variants. “.

But she added that “cases are currently very high in the UK, and even a relatively small proportion requiring hospitalization could lead to serious illness in a significant number of people.”

UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid said emerging information on omicron was “encouraging news” but said it was “not yet very clear … how much this risk is reduced” compared to delta.

The analysis follows two studies, from Imperial College London and Scottish researchers, which found that patients with omicron were between 20% and 68% less likely to require hospital treatment than those with delta .

Data from South Africa, where the variant was first detected, also suggested that omicron may be milder there.

Considering these factors, the new variant could still overwhelm healthcare systems due to the large number of infections.

Countries around the world are watching Britain closely, where omicron is now dominant and COVID-19 cases have increased by more than 50% in one week.

Britain reported 119,789 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases on Thursday, the highest on record during the pandemic and the second day the number topped 100,000.

The UK Office for National Statistics estimated that around 1 in 45 people in private households in England – 1.2 million people – had COVID-19 in the week to December 16, the highest level seen in the pandemic.

The British Conservative government this month reinstated rules requiring face masks in stores and ordered people to show proof of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test before entering nightclubs and other crowded places in the goal of slowing the spread of omicron.

The government said Thursday it would not impose any new restrictions until Christmas – but could do so soon after.

Officials also urged people to get tested regularly and reduce socialization. Many in Britain have heeded this advice, leaving entertainment and hospitality businesses in shock at what should be their busiest time of year.

The government has offered grants and loans to support restaurants, bars, theaters and other venues, but many say that’s not enough to keep them from sinking.

The rules set by the British government apply in England. Other parts of the UK – Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – have imposed slightly tighter restrictions, including closing nightclubs.

The government hopes that the vaccine boosts will provide a bulwark against omicron, as the data suggests, and has set a goal of providing everyone 18 and over with a third injection by the end of December.


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