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WHO: Not yet known whether Omicron COVID-19 variant leads to more severe disease

Orignally published on 2021-11-28 20:12:44 by www.axios.com

The World Health Organization on Sunday said that it is not yet clear whether the newly discovered Omicron variant is more transmissible than other strains of the COVID-19 virus.

Why it matters: The agency’s statement comes as the variant, discovered in South Africa, has already been detected in European and Asian countries.

  • The WHO named Omicron “a variant of concern” based on evidence that the strain possesses significant mutations that may evade immune systems and drive a new wave of infections.
  • The agency reiterated that preliminary data suggests there may be a “higher risk of reinfection” with Omicron, adding that the “number of people testing positive has risen in areas of South Africa affected by this variant.”

What they’re saying: “Researchers in South Africa and around the world are conducting studies to better understand many aspects of Omicron,” the organization said in a statement.

  • “There is currently no information to suggest that symptoms associated with Omicron are different from those from other variants,” it continued.
  • “WHO will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available.”

Go deeper: Fauci: Omicron variant will “inevitably” be found in U.S.

Orignally published on 2021-11-28 20:12:44 by www.axios.com

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