Omicron reported in 89 countries, cases doubling in 1.5 to 3 days with community transmission: WHO

"There are still limited data on the clinical severity of Omicron," said the international public health agency.

Andrew Koay | December 19, 2021, 06:48 PM

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Areas that have experienced community transmission of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 have seen cases double in 1.5 to three days according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Reuters reported that Omicron is currently found to be spreading rapidly in countries with high levels of population immunity.

However, it is unclear if this is down to the virus' ability to evade immune systems, its innate transmissibility, or some combination of the two.

So far, 89 countries have reported Omicron cases.

"There are still limited data on the clinical severity of Omicron," the WHO said, according to Reuters.

"More data are needed to understand the severity profile and how severity is impacted by vaccination and pre-existing immunity."

Boosters 85 per cent effective against severe illness

Meanwhile, researchers continue to try and determine if vaccines will be effective against the variant.

According to the BBC, scientists in the United Kingdom have found that vaccine boosters are likely to provide 85 per cent protection against severe illnesses.

This is a bit less than vaccines gave against earlier versions of Covid-19.

The research was done by a team at Imperial College London and is based on limited information surrounding the Omicron variant.

The team admitted that a high degree of uncertainty would remain until more real-world information was gathered about the new variant.

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