UK notes fast-unfolding Omicron COVID-19 impact




As health experts closely watch how the Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant spreads outside of South Africa, the United Kingdom today provided an early but detailed snapshot of how the virus is behaving, which shows that it is outpacing Delta (B1617.2) on many fronts.

So far, at least 62 countries have reported 2,282 variant cases, with Jordan one of the latest countries to report its first two cases—one in a traveler who had visited South Africa and another with no recent travel history.

Big Omicron growth advantage in UK

In a technical briefing today, scientists collaborating with the UK’s Health Security Agency (HAS) analyzed Omicron’s growth and transmission characteristics, as well as vaccine effectiveness against the virus.

The HSA said the variant is spreading rapidly across all of England’s regions, and so far, none of the patients infected with the variant have been hospitalized or died. Its analysis of contacts suggests Omicron is transmitting more easily than Delta, and if the new variant continues to spread at its current rate, it will account for 50% of all infections by the middle of December.



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