WHO warns that omicron can lead to more dangerous variants

The multiplication of omicron cases around the world could be far from being controlled and increases the risk of the appearance of a new, more dangerous variant of COVID-19, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Tuesday.

Catherine Smallwood, WHO emergency officer, warned that skyrocketing omicron infection rates could cause a more dangerous variant of COVID-19.

The expert, who was quoted by the news agency AFP, He explained that the more the omicron spreads, the more it is transmitted, and the more it replicates, “the more likely it is that it will generate a new variant.”

“Currently, the omicron is lethal, it can cause death … Maybe a little less than delta, but who can say what the next variant could generate?” He said.

Despite more evidence that omicron causes a milder form of COVID-19, the agency fears that this new strain will behave differently than it did in South Africa, where death and hospitalization rates were very low. .

Epidemiologist Abdi Mahamud, head of the WHO incident management office, said that with omicron “you have to be cautious, because South Africa had a similar situation with the alpha variant in 2020.”

The expert also insisted that to avoid hospitalizations and deaths, it is necessary to be vaccinated against the virus.

“The main message is that if you are vaccinated, you are protected, but if you are vulnerable or not vaccinated, the omicron variant, no matter how mild, can hit you very hard. So vaccination is critical,” he added.

For now, the omicron variant has been detected in 128 countries “although surely in the rest it would also have been reported if they had the technical capacity,” Mahamud said.

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