Dec. 7, 2021 — Research are underway in check tubes and animals to find out whether or not the brand new Omicron variant of the coronavirus can slip previous the immune safety of vaccination or a earlier an infection.
Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the Nationwide Institute of Allergy and Infectious Illnesses, stated the outcomes from checks of disabled and dwell Omicron viruses combined with the serum — the clear a part of the blood — of vaccinated or beforehand contaminated folks needs to be prepared subsequent week.
The outcomes of these checks ought to give us a greater concept about how effectively protected People could also be in opposition to the brand new menace of this extremely mutated variant.
Fauci, talking at a briefing of the White Home COVID-19 Response Group, says information exhibits the Omicron variant has swiftly change into the principle trigger of recent COVID-19 infections in South Africa.
“Strongly suggesting a dominant functionality of that variant over others,” he stated.
The scenario in South Africa just isn’t precisely the identical as what’s occurring within the U.S. South Africa has not been in a position to vaccinate as many individuals because the U.S. has. Even given these variations, Fauci says the image in South Africa says so much about Omicron’s runaway unfold and its potential to trigger new instances to spike on this nation.
These new instances might not be as severe as we’ve seen with Alpha or Delta. Early information on severity is encouraging.
“It’s too early to have the ability to decide the exact severity of illness … nevertheless it seems with the instances we’re seeing, we aren’t seeing a really extreme profile of illness,” he stated.
Fauci stated the hospitalization fee for omicron instances appears to be decrease than it has been below earlier variants, and sufferers who do find yourself within the hospital appear to be much less prone to want oxygen.
However he cautioned that this information could possibly be biased as a result of the earliest instances in South Africa have been reported in youthful folks, who are likely to have much less severe instances anyway.
“Hopefully, within the subsequent few weeks we’ll get a a lot clearly image,” he stated.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, stated groups working to trace the unfold of Omicron after the big Anime 2021 convention in New York Metropolis have been in a position to contact about 35,000 of the 53,000 individuals who have been estimated to have attended.
“Information from this investigation will doubtless present a few of the earliest appears to be like on this nation of the transmissibility of this variant,” she stated.
Within the meantime, Omicron isn’t ready. Sor far, it has proven up in 17 states and greater than 50 international locations all over the world.