The omicron variant of the novel coronavirus could create a massive surge of cases in either January or April 2022, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The omicron variant — which is already the dominant strain of COVID-19 in the U.S. — will infect millions of people in the coming months.
What to do if you catch Omicron, say experts?
What to Do if You Catch Omicron, Say Experts
- Stay Home. Woman being sick having flu lying on sofa looking at temperature on thermometer. …
- Protect Others You Live With. If you live with other people, “As much as possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people and pets in your home,” …
- Inform Close Contacts. …
How deadly is the Omicron variant?
The Omicron COVID sub-variant BA.2 may be more dangerous than BA.1 and could pose a greater risk to public health, according to new research. BA.2 has made headlines in recent weeks and is the subject of ongoing research after overtaking the previously …
Why is Omicron so contagious?
While one person with the measles virus—a standout among infectious microbes—might infect 15 others within 12 days, Omicron jumps from person to person so quickly that a single case can give rise to six cases after four days, 36 cases after eight days …
What’s next after Omicron?
If another variant of concern pops up (let’s hope not), it could be called ‘Pi’, ‘Rho’ or ‘Sigma’ – the next three Greek letters after Omicron. The full Greek alphabet is as follows:
Looking overseas for clues
I n South Africa, where the Omicron infection wave went steeply up and then sharply back down, particularly in Guateng province, the peak of hospitalizations looks to be about half of the previous Delta wave. Deaths and ICU admissions appear even lower.
A worldwide wave
I t’s not just the U.S. being hit in every state simultaneously. For the first time since the start of the pandemic, modelers are expecting a rapid surge all over the world.
The long view
T he newest variant has also inexorably altered the course of the pandemic. Although it’s still unclear how high and how fast the curves will climb (and how many people will get very sick or die in the process), Murray said when he and his team run their models further out, they see Covid-19 quieting down for much of 2022.
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What the Covid-19 Scenario Modeling Hub projects
The Covid-19 Scenario Modeling Hub, whose researchers advise CDC, combined eight models from a variety of institutions, including Johns Hopkins University and the University of Notre Dame.
What Jeffrey Shaman projects
Meanwhile, Shaman’s model projects the United States will see more Covid-19 cases in January than it has in any other month during the pandemic, but “a smaller fraction of those cases will require hospitalization,” Shaman wrote in the New York Times.
Most optimistic scenario
The team behind the new study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, used the latest experimental data on Omicron’s “antibody-evading characteristics” to map out possible scenarios for the spread of the new strain.
Enjoy a different view
The researchers said that bringing in further control measures in early 2022 “would be sufficient to substantially control this wave, reducing hospitalisations by 53,000 and deaths by 7,600”.
Worst potential outcome
The most pessimistic scenario mapped by the LSHTM modellers – “high immune escape and lower effectiveness of boosters” – projected a wave of infection around “twice as high” as that in January this year, if no additional measures are taken.
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But “these early projections help guide our understanding about potential futures in a rapidly evolving situation”, she continued. Although “nobody wants to endure another lockdown”, last-resort measures “may be required to protect health services” if Omicron’s transmissibility is much higher than that of the Delta variant.
Imperial College London modelling
Teams at Imperial College London (ICL) have also been studying data on Omicron cases in the UK, which were found to be “doubling every two to three days”.
South Africa cases
Omicron infection rates appear to be nearing their peak in South Africa, nearly three weeks after scientists first detected the variant there.
Don’t let omicron crash your holiday gathering. Here’s how to keep your family safe
By around the end of January, more than 500,000 people could catch the virus every day on average, which is more than double the peak reached last winter, according to the most pessimistic scenario.
A tantalizing clue to why omicron is spreading so quickly
In the following weeks, an estimated 29,812 people would be hospitalized with COVID-19 and 3,876 would die every day on average, according to this projection.