WHO: Omikron now confirmed in 38 countries

The WHO stated on Friday that the omicron variant is now available in 38 countries, which indicates that the spread of infection is very fast.

Two days before the WHO announced on Friday that omicrons had spread to 38 countries, the virus had been detected in 23 countries. According to early data, the fact that the virus spreads so quickly indicates that omicron is more contagious than delta.

“We are seeing an increasing growth rate, we are seeing an increasing number of omicrons being discovered,” he said Maria Van Kerkhove, covid-19 expert at WHO, on Friday at the World Health Organization’s live press conference on social media, states CNBC.

The WHO has received reports that the omicron variant is thus found in 38 countries, all six WHO regions.

Omikron has about 30 mutations

The World Health Organization can not yet say with certainty that omicron is more contagious than the delta variant, but it seems to be so and Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s health crisis program, says according to CNBC that “it is clear” that omikron is more likely to infect others than is the case with delta.

Omikron is said to have about 30 mutations, which entails an increased risk of transmitting the infection. In addition, it appears to be more resistant to current covid vaccines.

According to South African researchers, the virus variant has a “significant ability” to affect people who have already had covid-19 and to a greater extent than previous virus variants.

WHO: It is too early to draw conclusions

It should be said that the South African researchers’ study, published by the South African Center for Epidemiologing and Analysis and the National Institute of Communicable Diseases, has not yet been reviewed by experts, CNBC reports.

WHO’s Maria Van Kerkhove believes that it is too early to determine what the degree of difficulty looks like when it comes to omicrons. Early reports have indicated that the virus variant produces milder symptoms according to the first cases registered among young university students.

But according to the WHO, it is too early to say whether omicron is a milder variant of the virus.

“Anyone who is infected with SARS-CoV-2, regardless of the variant, will always start with a mild illness,” says Van Kerkhove.

Also read: WHO: Travel bans do not prevent the spread of omicrons [Dagens PS]

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