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WHO sees extra proof that Omicron causes milder signs

World Health Organization
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 stated on Tuesday.

“We’re seeing an increasing number of research mentioning that Omicron is infecting the higher a part of the physique. Not like the opposite ones, that would trigger extreme pneumonia,” WHO Incident Supervisor Abdi Mahamud informed Geneva-based journalists, saying it might be “excellent news”.

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

His remarks on the diminished 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.

Nonetheless, Mahamud additionally sounded a word 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 stated it was too early to say however harassed that the choice required international coordination and shouldn’t be left to the business sector to resolve alone.