Omicron variant: Two UK studies confirm hospital admissions are less than delta

In the midst of another bleak holiday season, with a new record of more than 100,000 cases per day, Two studies in the UK comparing the Omicron variant with Delta gave “moderate” good news. According to the study by Imperial College, The Omicron variant is 20-25% less likely to require a hospital visit. And the 40% lower risk of ending up in hospital treatment.

Imperial College Study

The Imperial College Study, led by Neil Ferguson, one of Britain’s top epidemiological authorities, It is the largest in terms of the number of cases analyzed: 56 thousand microns versus 269 thousand deltas between December 1 and 14.

Ferguson did not hesitate to evaluate the data from “good news”But he described optimism by noting that they do not change their expectations About three thousand hospital admissions per day in January due to high transmissibility of the new variant. “Given the high transmissibility of Omicron, we are likely to be at the same risk as the NHS if cases continue to grow at this rate,” Ferguson said.

For a small percentage of people who have not been vaccinated He also does not have antibodies due to his previous infection with the virus, The study found that the risk of hospitalization was 11% lower with Omicron than with Delta. In cases where the delta variant was previously contracted, the risk of hospitalization was cut in half and those who were hospitalized had a lower stay: 0.22 days compared to 0.32 days.

In its press release, Imperial College acknowledged that Ror still does not have enough data to compare the effect on the level of intensive care or mortality, although it was considered possible in both cases that there would be less risk with microns compared with delta.

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Study in Scotland

The study conducted in Scotland is smaller than the Imperial College study, but It was concluded that the risk of hospitalization was lower: 70% in the case of microns less than delta.

Dr Jim McMenamin, Director of Covid 19 at Public Health Scotland, noted this This is good news, but there is still a long way to go before this preliminary data is shown to the population as a whole.

The study focused on the number of hospitalizations recorded from November 1, when Ómicron didn’t notice his head, until December 19, when it was about to become the dominant alternative. checking the same variants of vaccination and the previous contraction of the virus, The study found that the number of people hospitalized with Omicron was significantly lower than the number of Deltas.

In numbers, this means that instead of the estimated 47 people who would have ended up in hospital using the delta variant, only 15 people were hospitalized with omicron.. The weakness of this data is that most cases fall in the age group between 20 and 39 years: there is no detailed analysis of the older and more vulnerable segments.

“The potential impact of the micron should not be underestimated,” Dr McMenamin explained that “a smaller proportion of a much larger number of cases requiring treatment could mean a much larger number of people developing a severe form of Covid that requires hospitalization.”

Coronavirus situation in the UK

Both studies confirm that using The current level of social restrictions – Which Boris Johnson’s government decided to keep for Christmas – It is not enough to contain an avalanche of cases in the coming weeks.

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The 106,122 cases and 140 deaths recorded yesterday in the United Kingdom are an indication of this The idea in the days before reaching the ceiling of the issue is premature. This potential growth in infection has an effect on hospitalization that neutralizes the apparent micron ductility.

The NHS in England recorded 301 hospital admissions on December 20, up 78% from the previous week and the highest number since February 7 when the delta variant easily prevailed. Looking at these numbers, the National Health Service has announced that it has done so An emergency plan that included the use of “field hospitals” in hospital car parks and the integration of military medical personnel.

Freddie Dawson

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