There is currently no evidence that the Omicron variant of the coronavirus is causing severe COVID-19 symptoms, so Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration.
- Gottlieb said the omicron variant is likely to be more transmissible, but may not result in a more serious condition.
- “There is no evidence that it causes any more serious illness. What we have seen in South Africa in particular is a decoupling between cases and hospital admissions. ” Gottlieb said in “Face the Nation” on CBS News.
Gottlieb said South Africa has seen a sharp drop in hospital admissions compared to previous waves, which could be a sign of immunity to any previous infection or vaccination.
- The Omicron variant “is likely to blow its way through the population very quickly, given what has happened in South Africa and even what is happening in the UK right now, which is moving very fast. But there are hard four to six weeks ahead of us, as is the majority of the population. ” he said.
It is too early to say the full extent of the Omicron variant. Higher portability means there will be more cases, which will lead to an increase in hospital admissions and deaths.
But some early research suggests that the Omicron variant caused less severe COVID-19 symptoms compared to previous coronavirus variants, as I wrote for that Desert news. The Omicron variant has also reportedly resulted in fewer hospital admissions, which most experts see as a positive sign.
Scientists and health officials are still recommending getting vaccinated against COVID-19. And if they’re vaccinated, people should get the COVID-19 booster.