ONLY a “breath of infected breath” is all it takes to catch Omicron, one expert warned today.

Although getting the bug is easier, scientists say those who get it will have a milder disease compared to other variants.

An expert warned that you can easily catch Omicron with a breath of infected breathImage Credit: Getty – Contributor


Omicron is now responsible for 90 percent of the cases in Great Britain and has adopted the Delta variant.

It comes as a series of very positive studies show Omicron is milder than other strains, with the first official UK report showing the risk of hospitalization 50 to 70 percent less than at Delta.

Covid booster jabs protect against omicron and offer the best chance of weathering the pandemic, health officials said repeatedly.

The Sun’s Jabs Army campaign is helping get the vital extra vaccines in the arms of the British to stave off the need for new restrictions.

Professor Peter Openshaw, who is today a member of the Advisory Group on New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats (Nervtag), said today that the British are lucky that the coronavirus wasn’t as contagious as cases rose at the start of the pandemic in 2020 began.

He told BBC Breakfast: “Omicron is so contagious.

“We’re really lucky that it wasn’t as contagious when it was first transmitted from person to person.

“We had several iterations of this virus that went through different stages of its evolution.

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“It has become so contagious that it takes almost just a breath of an infected breath to get infected.

“We are relatively well positioned in countries like the UK, but I think you have to keep in mind that vaccination rates are only around five percent in many parts of the world and they have this very contagious virus with … very little protection.”

Another 19,544 cases of the Omicron variant we reported yesterday in the UK with the surge in infections bringing the total to 229,666.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) will no longer report Omicron cases separately due to the large number of cases.

Infections in general hit a record high yesterday – with 189,213 new positive tests reported.

However, Thursday’s record-breaking numbers include a backlog of cases before December 25th.


Despite an increase in cases and warnings from experts that Omicron is more contagious, medical professionals have said the strain is spreading actually slow down.

Data from the ZOE Symptom Tracker app showed infections slowing in age groups 0-55.

Dr. Claire Steves, researcher on the ZOE Covid Study App and reader at King’s College London, said: “The number of new symptomatic Covid cases every day is more than double what it was this time last year, and we’re only one or two left Days away from hitting over 200,000.

“However, the exponential growth of cases seems to have stopped and the increase is more steady.

“Fortunately, hospitalization rates are much lower than they were at this time last year, but they are still high, especially in London.

“The ZOE data shows that cases are still on the rise among 55-75 year olds, so unfortunately it is likely that this will lead to more hospitalizations in the New Year.”


video-6289342165001″ class=”brightcove “>The UK has a record 189,213 Covid cases and an additional 332 deaths as the data backlog drives the numbers up – but the booster jabs hit 33.5 million


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