Those affected by the Omicron variant of the coronavirus are 40% to 45% less likely to need to be hospitalized overnight compared to carriers of the Delta variant and 15% to 20% less likely to need to go to the hospital emergency room for examination or monitoring.
The findings come from an analysis of hospitalizations and vaccination data of all COVID-confirmed molecular test cases in England from 1 to 14 December by the team of Professor Neil Ferguson at Imperial College London.
The study found that even an unvaccinated person who had never been infected with a coronavirus before and therefore had zero immunity, runs 11% less krisk of hospitalization if affected by Omicron compared to Delta.
For someone who has been infected in the past and therefore has antibodies to the virus, the risk of hospitalization due to a new Omicron infection is reduced by 69% compared to Delta.
The risk of hospitalization for those vaccinated with two doses of AstraZeneca, Pfizer or Moderna vaccines infected with Omicron is “significantly reduced” compared with those not vaccinated with Delta, even if the two doses protect against simple infection from the Omicron is negligible.
The so-called “lockdown professor” due to his pessimistic predictions, who just last week warned of the possibility of 5,000 deaths a day in the UK due to Omicron, commented after the new findings that the new wave of the pandemic “will not look like not at all with what we saw last year, that is, with the intensive care units overflowing with patients “.
He noted that in London we see a lot of hospitalizations, but not long-term and probably not very serious cases. He attributed this not so much to the properties of Omicron, which need further research, but to the increased immunity of the population.
He stressed, however, that if the number of patients is very large, then there will be a great challenge for the health system. As he said, if Omicron’s infections are 40% higher than Delta’s, then the advantage that milder infections give the NHS could be lost.
At the same time, a study by the University of Strathclyde on data in Scotland estimates that if Omicron were as serious about delta infections as there should be, there should currently be 47 carriers in Scottish hospitals. So far, however, only 15 are being treated.
The researchers roughly estimate that the risk of hospitalization from Omicron is reduced by 2/3 in relation to the risk posed by Delta.
Research South Africa: 80% lower risk of hospitalization
South Africans infected with coronavirus in current fourth wave of pandemic are 80% less likely to be hospitalized if they catch the Omicron mutation, compared to other strains, according to a study published by the National Institute of Communicable Diseases.
But if someone is admitted to the hospital, the risk of serious illness is no different than other variants, according to study leaders Nicole Walter and Cheryl Cohen.
Compared to Delta infections in South Africa between April and November, Omicron mutation infections are associated with a 70% lower risk of serious disease, they said. Data for Omicron was collected from November until today.
Since Omicron was spotted by South African scientists on November 25, the mutation has caused a record number of cases in the country, which has fully vaccinated about 44% of its adult population.
The authors of the study made adjustments to take into account factors that could affect the results, including age, gender and whether the cases were re-infection. For the severity of the disease after admission, they also examined the presence of other diseases and previous immunization.
The study also showed that those who stick to Omicron may have higher viral loads.
The study is “significant,” according to Bloomberg, although the use of so-called “historical data” for Delta infections between April and November means that its outcome may be affected by time issues, said Paul Hunter, a professor of medicine at the University. of the United Kingdom. of the East of England.
“Thus, although Omicron cases were less likely to be hospitalized than delta cases, it is not possible to say whether this was due to inherent differences in infectious activity or to higher population immunity in November compared to earlier,” he said. Hunter.
The authors pointed out the same limitations.
Sources: KYPE / euro2day