“No indication” that Omicron causes extra extreme sickness, Gottlieb says

Washington — Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the previous commissioner of the Meals and Drug Administration, mentioned Sunday that there is no such thing as a indication that the Omicron variant of the coronavirus causes extra extreme sickness, even because it seems to be extra transmissible than earlier strains of the virus.  

“There is no indication that it causes extra extreme sickness. What we have seen in South Africa particularly, is a decoupling between the instances and hospitalizations,” Gottlieb mentioned Sunday on “Face the Nation.”

In South Africa, the place the variant was first detected, hospitalizations are down 30% relative to instances and 80% relative to previous waves, Gottlieb mentioned. He mentioned that increased ranges of immunity, both from vaccinations or earlier infections, could possibly be the explanation why “it is manifesting as a much less extreme sickness.” 

“Most likely round 80% of People and 90% of South Africans have some degree of immunity, both from prior an infection or by vaccination,” he mentioned.

In accordance with the Facilities of Illness Management and Prevention (CDC), 43 states within the U.S. have reported at the very least one case of the Omicron variant.  

Gottlieb mentioned that People are experiencing COVID fatigue and are bored with residing diminished lives on account of the virus. He predicted that Omicron “goes to blow its method by the inhabitants, in all probability in a short time, once you take a look at what occurred in South Africa and even what’s taking place within the U.Okay. proper now, the place it is shifting very quick. However we do face a tough 4 to 6 weeks forward of us, as is a lot of the inhabitants.”

He famous that it could be prudent for weak people to take added precautions heading into the vacations, together with testing, mitigation measures and vaccinations. 

Dr. Francis Collins, the outgoing director of the Nationwide Institutes of Well being, burdened the significance of vaccinations and booster pictures for shielding in opposition to the Omicron variant. 

“What will we learn about Omicron? We all know that it’s extremely contagious,” Collins instructed “Face the Nation.” “You noticed what occurred in South Africa initially, then in Europe and now within the U.S. It is doubling about each two to 4 days, and we will see that variety of instances go up fairly steeply over the course of the subsequent couple of weeks.”

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