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Omicron variant causing “tidal wave” of infections that could overwhelm health systems says World Health Organization

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Posted: Thursday, December 16, 2021. 10:01 am CST.

By BBN Staff: The World Health Organization (WHO) is concerned that the magnitude of infections being caused by the Omicron variant of COVID-19 will be too much for health systems to handle.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, warned this week that since the Omicron variant produces less severe symptoms than other variants, people are not taking the necessary precautions to mitigate the spread. The variant, now confirmed to be in 77 countries, is suspected to be in even more countries but remains undetected.

The omicron variant has been confirmed to be more infections than any previously detected strain of the virus, outdoing even the Delta variant discovered earlier this year.

“We’re concerned that people are dismissing Omicron as mild. Surely, we have learned by now that we underestimate this virus at our peril,” Ghebreyesus said.

“Even if Omicron does cause less severe disease, the sheer number of cases could once again overwhelm unprepared health systems,” he added.

The BBC reports that the United Kingdom recorded its first death from the variant on Monday, prompting an increase in its COVID-19 alert level and is accelerating the rollout of booster shots.

 

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