THE JERUSALEM POST – The Omicron variant is less severe in comparison to other SARS-CoV-2 variants as the lungs are mostly spared in such COVID-19 cases, according to new animal research.
Omicron had less severe effects on small animals such as hamsters and mice, The New York Times reported on Saturday. Infection by the variant that were detected caused less severe damage to the nose, throat and windpipe.
It also cited data suggesting that the Omicron variant is milder than Delta and other SARS-CoV-2 ones. This was confirmed when scientists concluded that hamsters became severely ill from all other variants of the coronavirus.
Other studies showed that the presence of Omicron in the lungs was a tenth or less than the viral load of other variants.
One study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature by Hong Kong University researchers, confirmed that Omicron replicated more slowly … READ MORE.
Omicron’s impact better measured by rising hospitalizations than cases, Fauci says
By Bryan Pietsch and Jennifer Hassan, JAN 3, 2021
THE WASHINGTON POST – As the United States continues to see a huge spike in coronavirus cases driven by the omicron variant, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, Anthony S. Fauci, says the better way to track the variant’s impact is to look at growing hospitalizations.
The United States was averaging more than 400,000 new cases each day as of Monday, double the previous week’s rate, according to Washington Post data, and is expected to soon hit as many as 1 million cases per day.
Fauci, speaking on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday, said:
“The real bottom line that you want to be concerned about is: Are we getting protected by the vaccines from severe disease leading to hospitalization?”
Hospitalizations are up 31 percent from last week, and deaths increased by 37 percent, with about 1,500 Americans dying of covid-19 each day. Experts have warned that this surge will be driven by the unvaccinated, as those who are vaccinated and boosted would have considerable protection from serious illness.
Fauci warned of the broader dangers on CNN:
“Even if the rate of hospitalization is lower with omicron than it is with delta, there is still the danger that you will have a surging of hospitalizations that might stress the health-care system … ” read more.