Omicron won’t be the last, next variant will be more virulent: WHO

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Omicron won’t be the last, next variant will be more virulent: WHO

 Omicron won’t be the last, next variant will be more virulent: WHO
Image source: pixabay.com

Highlights

  • Old-age people, the unvaccinated, and those suffering from other ailments could be more at risk.

  • As of Friday evening, over 264 million people globally were covid infected.

  • There have been at least five variants: Omicron, Delta, Gamma, Beta, and Alpha since the coronavirus outbreak in 2020.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that more coronavirus variants lay in wait, stressing the importance of following covid guidelines, including social distancing and wearing masks.

In a Q&A session, WHO’s technical head Maria Van Kerkhove said the Omicron variant is less severe than Delta, although it is highly contagious. The more it circulates, the more opportunities it has to change.

As of Friday evening, over 264 million people globally were covid infected. More than 5.6 million people have died of covid worldwide to date, the WHO said.

Kerkhove said those infected with Omicron have the “full spectrum of the disease”, from infection to death. Old-age people, the unvaccinated, and those suffering from other ailments could be more at risk.

She said that people are still hospitalized or dying because of Omicron, emphasizing that Omicron’s less severity doesn’t mean it is mild.

She stressed the importance of accurate information in the public domain to fight the crisis.

The WHO official said Omicron wouldn’t be the last variant. There is a real possibility of the emergence of other variants. But WHO doesn’t know yet about the properties of those variants, she added.

Also Read: Why Aridis Pharmaceuticals (ARDS) soared on Thursday?

Omicron won’t be the last, next variant would be more virulent: WHO

Source: Pixabay

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Future variants will be highly transmissible

The future variant will be less severe but more transmissible because they will need to overtake variants currently circulating, Kerkhove said.

So far, there have been at least five variants: Omicron, Delta, Gamma, Beta, and Alpha, since the coronavirus outbreak in 2020.

The WHO expects the next variant will be highly transmissible than Omicron. However, the question remains whether it will be more dangerous.

Kerkhove rejected the belief that variants mutate to less dangerous strains with time.

She urged people to maintain physical distancing, wear the mask, maintain hygiene, avoid crowds, and get tested to make sure appropriate care is taken where it is needed.

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