WHO sees extra proof that Omicron impacts higher respiratory tract

GENEVA: Extra proof is rising that the Omicron coronavirus variant is affecting the higher respiratory tract, inflicting milder signs than earlier variants, a World Well being Group official mentioned on Tuesday.

“We’re seeing increasingly research stating that Omicron is infecting the higher a part of the physique. Not like the opposite ones, that might trigger extreme pneumonia,” WHO Incident Supervisor Abdi Mahamud instructed Geneva-based journalists, saying it could possibly be “excellent news”.

Nevertheless, he added that Omicron’s excessive transmissibility means it’ll turn out to be dominant inside weeks in lots of locations, posing a risk in international locations the place a excessive portion of the inhabitants stays unvaccinated.

His remarks on the lowered dangers of extreme illness chime with different information together with a examine from South Africa which was one of many first international locations the place Omicron was detected.
Nevertheless, Mahamud additionally sounded a notice of warning, calling South Africa an “outlier” because it has a younger inhabitants amongst different elements.

Requested about whether or not an Omicron-specific vaccine was wanted, Mahamud mentioned it was too early to say however pressured that the choice required world coordination and shouldn’t be left to the business sector to resolve alone. (Reporting by Emma Farge and Mrinalika Roy in Bangalore; Modifying by Andrew Cawthorne)

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