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Omicron may become dominant in Europe in months - EU

CoronavirusDec 02, 2021 17:01
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People queue for vaccination against COVID-19 outside a doctor's practice in Berlin, Germany, December 1, 2021. REUTERS/Annegret Hilse/File Photo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union's public health agency said on Thursday that the Omicron variant could be responsible for more than half of all COVID-19 infections in Europe within a few months, but no cases of severe disease had yet been identified in the region.

The estimate could lend weight to preliminary information about the very high transmissibility of the Omicron variant, above that of the Delta variant, which before Omicron was considered the most contagious of the main coronavirus strains.

"Based on mathematical modelling conducted by ECDC, there are indications that Omicron could cause over half of all SARS-CoV-2 infections in the EU/EEA within the next few months," the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said in a statement.

The EU and European Economic Area (EEA) include the 27 EU member states plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

There is no conclusive evidence about Omicron's transmissibility so far but the World Health Organization's lead person on COVID-19, Maria van Kerkhove, said on Wednesday the agency expected to have data on this within days.

Earlier on Thursday, the French government's top scientific adviser Jean-Francois Delfraissy said Omicron could take Delta's place by the end of January.

Europe has so far recorded 79 cases of the Omicron variant first detected in southern Africa last month, the ECDC said.

Half of those cases were asymptomatic and the other half showed only mild symptoms. There were no cases featuring severe disease, hospitalisation, or death.

Of cases that have data on age and vaccination status, the majority were young and fully inoculated, it said.

The ECDC provided no further details, but noted that as the people concerned were travellers, they could also be assumed to be healthier than the general population.

"Vaccinations for those either not yet vaccinated or who have not completed their vaccine course and boosters for those over 40 years of age are imperative," said ECDC Director Andrea Ammon in the statement.

Physical distancing measures, adequate ventilation in enclosed spaces and people working from home if at all ill have also proven effective in reducing transmission, she said.

Omicron may become dominant in Europe in months - EU
 

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Comments (8)
John Smith
John Smith Dec 02, 2021 19:44
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Omicron is nothing to worry about.
Glen Whelan
Glen Whelan Dec 02, 2021 16:27
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”We now interrupt this normal life to bring you something you didn’t know you needed to be scared about (which, probably, you don’t actually need to be scared of) but we’re going to scare you anyway because there are some concerns you seem to be enjoying your freedom rather too much so we are here to remind you that freedom is conditional on not enjoying yourself and remaining suitably scared”....the great British people are being hassled to take up their covid booster in a medical efficiency drive never known to our crumbling NHS, having received 5 booking requests and 2 missed calls for me to take up my booster, I can’t help but think about all other more serious ailments and diseases that are going unchecked. Meanwhile we are again subjected to more media hysteria about another mutant ninja covid killer....enough, I’m not doing it. Go treat some really sick people who can’t get near your surgery but for a barrage of blocking tactics!
Peter Owt
Peter Owt Dec 02, 2021 16:27
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My father and 17 year old god daughter died of Covid 19. I wholeheartedly agree that from what is already known omicron poses far less threat but anyone who cant be bothered wearing a mask indoors or being vaccinated unecessarily risks others lives. How on earth is wearing a mask whilst shopping of on public transport a hardship? If one wants to abstain from potentially helping others may be not treating anyone who feel that a mask and vaccination unecessary is reasonsble? It would free up the NHS too.
Darren MNM
Darren_M Dec 02, 2021 16:27
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Mass vaccinations were unnecessary. They don't stop transmission, they only protect the person receiving the vaccine and the vast majority of people do not need them. In fact the vaccinated take far more risks than the unvaccinated as they believe they're bulletproof from infection. This was evident in Austria when infection rates continued to soar even after they locked up the unvaccinated. It's not Covid people should be worried about, it's freedom!
Peter Owt
Peter Owt Dec 02, 2021 16:05
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We could of course be grateful that a deadly virus is being replaced by one with mild flu like symptoms.Alternatively we could listen to every publicity grabbing headline and panic like cowardly sheep.
Wassai Arghushi
Wassai Arghushi Dec 02, 2021 15:44
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Maybe is a word to make people desapointment and close their trades and lose the really nice rally
Yogesh Kumar Singh
Yogesh Kumar Singh Dec 02, 2021 15:03
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pharma companies be like - this is business
Yogesh Kumar Singh
Yogesh Kumar Singh Dec 02, 2021 15:03
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pharma companies be like - this is business
Allan Orr
Allan Orr Dec 02, 2021 14:45
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Yes, but not anymore potent!
Drake Richards
Drake Richards Dec 02, 2021 14:23
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based on nothing more than half cocked flawed models...
 
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