Omicron in 38 countries, no deaths reported


The World Health Organization (WHO) announced on Friday that COVID-19 Omicron variants are present in 38 countries, up from 23 two days ago. This suggests that variants may be more contagious than Delta.

At a press conference, WHO official Maria Van Kerkhove said the UN health agency has shown “increasing growth rates” and “increasing numbers of detected omicrons.”

No deaths have been reported so far in connection with another WHO spokesman, COVID-19 strain. Said Friday reporter.

“There are suggestions for improved transmissibility. What we need to understand is whether there is more or less transmissibility compared to Delta,” Wankelhoff said. She said the Delta mutant is the predominant strain in the world.

In the United States, at least six US states have identified cases of Omicron, including a fully vaccinated man who traveled to Minnesota from the New York City anime convention this week, according to health officials. I recovered. The first American case was detected in the San Francisco Bay Area, California.

According to a previous update from WHO, Omicron has a large number of mutations in peplomers that can be used to bind to human cells, which can lead to high transfer rates. It’s not clear yet, but authorities have warned.

However, it is unclear whether the new strain will cause more serious illness, Wankelhof said. Early reports from South Africa and Israel suggest that many patients experience mild symptoms.

Van Kerkhove said the first Omicron case was based on a population of college students, noting that younger people tend to experience milder symptoms than older people. This week, a top South African doctor told the press that the symptoms were unusual but “very mild.”

“There was an initial report that it tended to be milder, but it’s really too early,” Wankelhof said. “Anyone infected with SARS-CoV-2, regardless of any variant, always starts with a mild illness, so it may stop with a mild illness, although some are asymptomatic, of course. , May stop with a mild illness and may take some time. “

She said hospitalizations are on the rise in South Africa, where the mutant was first detected. Authorities have not seen an increase in deaths.

“If you’re traveling, you’re not sick, or if you’re sick, you shouldn’t travel,” Wankelhoff said. “Therefore, there is a bias in what is being detected at this time, but it changes over time.”

Jack phillips


Jack Phillips is the latest news reporter for The Epoch Times, based in New York.