Despite the unprecedented spreadability of Omicron, the latest Covid-19 variant, many people believe it only carries mild harm since most confirmed patients presented non-severe symptoms. However, such opinions have soon reversed with Britain reporting its first confirmed death from Omicron, and the number raised to seven on Dec 17.
Do we need to get more alert regarding those “Omicron deaths”? Instead of giving a definite “Yes” or “No”, SH Dashunkang Medical Tech would take that as an open question and share several reliable views for you to consider.
Hope you enjoy and find them helpful!
The Source of Omicron
One important basis to evaluate the risks of Omicron is its source. Why does the source matter? According to Trevor Bedford, a computational virologist and professor at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, the genetic sequence of Omicron suggests its closest ancestor might be a strain circulating in mid-2020 — over a year ago! That means, if the source of Omicron is a group of people, we can suppose Omicron has already transmitted over a year but cryptically, and its spread is indeed not explosive as we suppose, but a cumulative result of continuous secret infections. However, if the source of Omicron is a single person, we must admit that the current outbreak genuinely reflects Omicron’s high transmissibility.
So far, Bedford inclines to support that Omicron had been incubating in an immunocompromised person before its first transmission (i.e., single source hypothesis). His view is also supported by Richard Lessells, one of the scientists who identified Omicron and alerted the world.
The Vaccine Efficacy
How risky is Omicron also depends on how effective our weapons are — that is, vaccines. Many specialists stated that the current vaccines can still afford high protection, though mutations found in Omicron can partially evade immunity granted by them. However, regarding the seven deaths in Britain, U.K. Health Secretary Sajid Javid warned, “we’re in a new race, whether we like it or not, between the virus and the vaccine.”
Besides, according to Dr Steven Kemp, a research associate at the Department of Medicine, University of Cambridge, what could be more worrying is the uneven distribution of vaccines. “There is a lack of vaccines available to African and lower-income countries,” Dr Kemp said. “Unvaccinated populations do provide reservoirs for viruses to mutate and multiply.”
WHO’s Global Risk Assessment
While most discussions centre around transmission and vaccine resistance, there are more factors to consider when assessing Omicron’s impact. We recommend a relatively comprehensive report by WHO as your final point of reference.
Don’t Be Over Gloomy!
Do we need to get more anxious about Omicron? Returning to our question at the beginning, the answer seems to be “Yes”, as all views imply so. However, we must remind ourselves — they are merely views. As Professor Neil Ferguson from Imperial College London urges, most widespread info about Omicron lacks solid evidence, which is exactly what the public needs right now.
As a responsible enterprise, SH Dashunkang Medical Tech supports the spread of reliable Covid-19 info. We keep on updating the latest news about Covid-19 on our company page. Follow us on LinkedIn and receive them in your feed!
Our former articles:
●Concerned about Omicron? 8 Essential Facts Explained●Essential COVID-19 Medical Devices for the Coming Winter Outbreaks
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Post time: Dec-21-2021