clearn.png
Saturday May 28th, 2022 6:10AM

Omicron less likely to put you in the hospital, studies say

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

Two new British studies provide some early hints that the omicron variant of the coronavirus may be milder than the delta version.

Scientists stress that even if the findings of these early studies hold up, any reductions in severity need to be weighed against the fact omicron spreads much faster than delta and is more able to evade vaccines. Sheer numbers of infections could still overwhelm hospitals.

Still, the new studies released Wednesday seem to bolster earlier research that suggests omicron may not be as harmful as the delta variant, said Manuel Ascano Jr., a Vanderbilt University biochemist who studies viruses.

“Cautious optimism is perhaps the best way to look at this,” he said.

An analysis from the Imperial College London COVID-19 response team estimated hospitalization risks for omicron cases in England, finding people infected with the variant are around 20% less likely to go to the hospital at all than those infected with the delta variant, and 40% less likely to be hospitalized for a night or more.

That analysis included all cases of COVID-19 confirmed by PCR tests in England in the first half of December in which the variant could be identified: 56,000 cases of omicron and 269,000 cases of delta.

A separate study out of Scotland, by scientists at the University of Edinburgh and other experts, suggested the risk of hospitalization was two-thirds less with omicron than delta. But that study pointed out that the nearly 24,000 omicron cases in Scotland were predominantly among younger adults ages 20-39. Younger people are much less likely to develop severe cases of COVID-19.

“This national investigation is one of the first to show that Omicron is less likely to result in COVID-19 hospitalization than Delta,” researchers wrote. While the findings are early observations, “they are encouraging,” the authors wrote.

The findings have not yet been reviewed by other experts, the gold standard in scientific research.

Ascano noted the studies have limitations. For example, the findings are specific to a certain point in time during a quickly changing situation in the United Kingdom and other countries may not fare the same way.

Matthew Binnicker, director of clinical virology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, said that in the Scottish study, the percentage of younger people was almost twice as high for the omicron group compared with the delta group, and that “could have biased the conclusions to less severe outcomes caused by omicron.”

He nonetheless said the data were interesting and suggest omicron might lead to less severe disease. But he added: “It’s important to emphasize that if omicron has a much higher transmission rate compared to delta, the absolute number of people requiring hospitalization might still increase, despite less severe disease in most cases.”

Data out of South Africa, where the variant was first detected, have also suggested omicron might be milder there. Salim Abdool Karim, a clinical infectious disease epidemiologist in South Africa, said earlier this week that the rate of admissions to hospitals was far lower for omicron than it was for delta.

“Our overall admission rate is in the region of around 2% to 4% compared to previously, where it was closer to 20%,” he said. “So even though we’re seeing a lot of cases, very few are being admitted."

___

The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Local/State News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, Top General short headlines, AP Health, AP World News
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Omicron less likely to put you in the hospital, studies say
Two new British studies provide some early hints that the omicron variant of the coronavirus may be milder than delta
6:51PM ( 2 minutes ago )
Jury at Kim Potter trial deliberates quietly for third day
A jury pushed toward the end of its third day of deliberations Wednesday at the trial of a suburban Minneapolis police officer who shot and killed Black motorist Daunte Wright, with no hint of its progress and the Christmas holiday looming
6:36PM ( 17 minutes ago )
Mystery lingers around time capsule found beneath Lee statue
A rust-colored 1875 almanac, a cloth envelope and a silver coin have been found in a time capsule hidden beneath a towering statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E
6:33PM ( 20 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Pause on student loan payments is extended through May 1
The Biden administration is extending a student loan moratorium that has allowed tens of millions of Americans to put off debt payments during the pandemic
5:37PM ( 1 hour ago )
Jan. 6 panel seeks interview with Trump ally Rep. Jim Jordan
A House committee investigating the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol insurrection has requested an interview and information from congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio
5:36PM ( 1 hour ago )
Research: Wreck of last US slave ship mostly intact on coast
Researchers studying the wreckage of the last U.S. slave ship on the Alabama coast have made a surprising discovery
4:42PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP National News
French kids line up to get vaccine shots as omicron spreads
France's health minister says omicron infections are rapidly spreading and the variant will become the dominant infection in the last days of 2021
1:04PM ( 5 hours ago )
EXPLAINER: What to do if you test positive for COVID-19
If you test positive for COVID-19, you should isolate at home, stay away from others and tell the people you’ve been in close contact with
12:14PM ( 6 hours ago )
Russian FM: Security talks with US, NATO to start next month
Russia’s top diplomat says that Russian and U.S. negotiators will sit down for talks early next year to discuss Moscow’s demand for Western guarantees precluding NATO’s expansion to Ukraine
11:07AM ( 7 hours ago )
AP Online National News
Jury at Kim Potter trial deliberates quietly for third day
A jury pushed toward the end of its third day of deliberations Wednesday at the trial of a suburban Minneapolis police officer who shot and killed Black motorist Daunte Wright, with no hint of its progress and the Christmas holiday looming
6:36PM ( 18 minutes ago )
Mystery lingers around time capsule found beneath Lee statue
A rust-colored 1875 almanac, a cloth envelope and a silver coin have been found in a time capsule hidden beneath a towering statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E
6:33PM ( 21 minutes ago )
US economy grew at 2.3% rate in Q3, up from earlier estimate
The U.S. economy grew at a 2.3% rate in the third quarter according to a third and final estimate of the nation's economic growth for that period
6:25PM ( 28 minutes ago )
Supporters rally for trucker sentenced to 110 years in crash
Relatives, lawmakers and other supporters are pleading for clemency for a trucker sentenced to 110 years in prison after an explosive brake-failure crash that left four people dead in Colorado
6:10PM ( 44 minutes ago )
Authorities: Carbon monoxide caused deaths of 7 in Minnesota
Authorities say seven members of an immigrant family from Honduras whose bodies were found inside a Minnesota home last weekend died of apparently accidental carbon monoxide poisoning
6:08PM ( 46 minutes ago )