WHO official suggests more evidence links Omicron to milder symptoms

Jan 4 2022, 8:14 pm

As most of Canada is still being hit with record daily COVID-19 case counts, fueled by the Omicron variant of concern, much is still left to be known about the variant and its symptoms.

While some health officials have suggested that Omicron causes less severe symptoms, there hasn’t been widespread scientific consensus on the matter.

A World Health Organization (WHO) official, who spoke to some reporters in Europe recently, is joining the growing number of voices that suggest Omicron may indeed cause milder symptoms.

WHO Incident Manager Abdi Mahamud told journalists in Europe that more evidence is showing that Omicron affects the upper part of the respiratory tract, causing milder illness.

“We are seeing more and more studies pointing out that Omicron is infecting the upper part of the body. Unlike other ones, the lungs who would be causing severe pneumonia,” he said, according to Reuters.

“It can be a good news, but we really require more studies to prove that.”

Maria Van Kerkhove is an Infectious Disease Epidemiologist at the WHO, and she is warning people not to get too hopeful about early reports on Omicron.

Omicron is NOT the common cold,” she stated in a tweet.

Kerkhove’s suggests people continue to seek vaccination, mask up, and avoid crowds.

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam also revealed some new data on Omicron today, suggesting that hospitalization due to Omicron increases among those in higher age groups, but that the variant is mostly infecting people between 20 and 39-years-old.

Amir AliAmir Ali

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