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World NewsOmicron lung infection less severe, replicates faster than delta in human airways:...

Omicron lung infection less severe, replicates faster than delta in human airways: Study

A nurse Nurse views the lung x-rays of a Covid affected person on October 13, 2021 on the Casalpalocco hospital, south of Rome.

Alberto Pizzoli | AFP | Getty Images

The omicron variant of Covid-19 replicates 70 instances faster in human airways than delta, however infection in the lungs seems to be less extreme in comparison with the unique virus pressure, in line with a examine printed this week by researchers on the University of Hong Kong’s Faculty of Medicine.

Dr. Michael Chan Chi-wai and a workforce of researchers discovered that the variant replicates a lot faster in the bronchus, which connects the windpipe to the lungs, 24 hours after infection. Yet it reproduces extra than 10 instances slower in the precise human lung tissue, they stated.

The study is under peer review. Researchers have been publishing their findings earlier than peer assessment is accomplished as a result of pressing nature of the pandemic.

Omicron’s fast replication in the airway might clarify why it transmits faster than earlier variants of the virus, however decrease infection in the lungs might point out that it causes less extreme illness, in line with the examine’s findings.

“It is important to note that the severity of disease in humans is not determined only by virus replication but also by the host immune response to the infection,” Chan stated in an announcement.

Chan famous {that a} extremely contagious virus like omicron might trigger extra extreme illness and dying just by spreading a lot faster, regardless that the lung infection seems not as unhealthy.

“Therefore, taken together with our recent studies showing that the omicron variant can partially escape immunity from vaccines and past infection, the overall threat from Omicron variant is likely to be very significant,” Chan cautioned.

White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci, citing information from South Africa, stated Wednesday that omicron reduces the safety of Pfizer and BioNTech’s two-dose vaccine in opposition to infection to 33%, in comparison with 80% safety earlier than the variant emerged.

However, the two-dose vaccine remains to be 70% efficient at stopping hospitalization, Fauci stated. Pfizer’s booster dose gives 75% safety in opposition to symptomatic illness, he stated, citing information from the U.Okay. Health Security Agency.

Pfizer and BioNTech have additionally printed preliminary information from their very own lab examine displaying boosters are efficient in opposition to omicron, however the preliminary two-dose collection is considerably hit by omicron.

The World Health Organization on Tuesday stated omicron spreading faster than any earlier Covid variant. Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’S Covid-19 technical lead, cautioned in opposition to treating omicron as a light pressure.

“We know that people infected with omicron can have the full spectrum of disease, from asymptomatic infection to mild disease, all the way to severe disease to death,” Van Kerkhove informed the general public throughout a query and reply session.

She warned that elevated transmission will result in extra hospitalizations, burdening already strapped health-care methods.

“If a system is overburdened, then people will die,” Van Kerkhove stated. “We have to be really careful that there isn’t a narrative out there that it’s just a mild disease.”


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