While Cases Increased, Severity Decreased With Omicron

According to a report coming from CDC, the disease severity decreased with Omicron even though cases increased drastically in a short period. The experts analyzed data from a huge health care database to understand the transmission rate of different variants.

While Cases Increased, Severity Decreased With Omicron

The Omicron wave is predominantly seen from mid-December to mid-January. Within this short time, the variant has spread across the US, and it now accounts for more than 99% of all the new cases in the US. However, the good news is that the severity seems to have decreased to a large extent when compared to the previous variants.

While Cases Increased, Severity Decreased With Omicron

The hospitalization data showed a clear picture in this regard. Only 20% of the inpatient beds were used for Covid treatment during the Omicron wave, and this is slightly higher than the previous winter season that saw Delta wave. However, there was a huge decrease in ICU admissions during the Omicron wave, and this shows that many people did not face severe symptoms with this variant.

Experts say that the Omicron wave can still put a lot of stress on the health system in the US due to its sheer number of infections. The pace at which it is infecting people has surprised everyone. The variant was first detected in South Africa in November. Within a matter of eight weeks, it infected nearly 15 million people in the US. This goes on to show that the variant is highly transmissible and should not be ignored.

Even though the variant does not often cause severe symptoms, it can still increase the burden on hospitals with more cases. Patients infected with Omicron need shorter stays in the hospital when compared to Delta. However, when the hospitals are overloaded with too many patients at the same time, it can become difficult for them to handle the situation.

However, the good news is that the number of ICU admissions is very less in this wave. This has also got to do with the fact that nearly 60% of the population in the US is vaccinated, and this has offered some protection when it comes to preventing extreme outcomes. It is interesting to note that most of the people admitted to ICU in the Omicron wave have not taken their vaccines.

Surprisingly, Omicron was able to invade vaccine immunity in many people easily. Many people who had taken both doses of vaccines have also got infected with this variant in the last few weeks. This shows that the protection offered by the vaccine is decreasing over a period of time, and it may not work against all the upcoming variants in the future.

However, vaccinated people experience mild symptoms, and most of them are able to recover within a few days without needing hospital admission. Even when vaccinated people are admitted to hospitals, they usually do not need critical care and are able to come out within a few days. In this way, vaccines have protected people from extreme outcomes during this wave.

Many experts think that the Omicron wave is slowing down in some parts of the US. Some states have already crossed their peak numbers, and the weekly average cases continue to decline. This is good news as it means that we can get past this variant without much damage in the next few weeks.

If a similar trend continues across the US, the Omicron wave is likely to fade away in a couple of months. It is time now for researchers to be prepared to handle future variants effectively by improving vaccines and treatment options.

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