Infectious Disease

Omicron “could” cause less serious illnesses, says Fauci

December 07, 2021

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Fauci and Walensky do not report any relevant financial information.

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Director of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases Anthony S. Fauci, MD, said Tuesday that the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 could cause less severe COVID-19 illness.

Anthony S. Fauci

“We don’t see a very severe disease profile. In fact, it could – and I stress it could – be less serious, “Fauci said during a press conference at the White House.

    Source: Adobe Stock

Cases of COVID-19 caused by the Omicron variant can be less severe. Source: Adobe Stock.

Also on Tuesday, Fauci told the Agence France-Presse news agency that Omicron is “almost certainly not heavier than Delta,” the SARS-CoV-2 variant that is responsible for the latest wave of infections worldwide.

His comments came days after the South African Medical Research Council reported that most patients with Omicron did not need supplemental oxygen in a district in Gauteng province that was an early hotspot for reported cases.

Of 42 patients included in the small report, 29 (70%) were not oxygen dependent. Of the 13 patients who needed supplemental oxygen, nine (21%) were diagnosed with COVID-19-based pneumonia and the other four needed oxygen for other medical reasons, the report said.

“This is an image that has not been seen in previous waves,” the report said. “At the beginning of all three previous waves and in the course of these waves, only patients were sprayed with room air on the COVID ward and these patients were usually in the recovery phase and waited for a comorbidity to subside.” Before discharge. “

Fauci said data on the effectiveness of the current COVID-19 vaccines against the Omicron variant could be available next week.

“We are running live virus and pseudovirus assays that could be ready for interpretation by the middle of next week for the pseudovirus and probably by the end of next week for the live virus,” he said. “With omicron we will be able to determine whether antibodies induced by our vaccines lose their effectiveness or not.”

In addition, animal studies are ongoing to examine immune protection and antiviral effectiveness, he said.

The Omicron variant has been reported in more than 50 countries and 19 states, CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, MDsaid during the briefing.

Rochelle P. Walensky

“We expect that [case] The number continues to rise, ”said Walensky. “While we are still working to understand the severity of Omicron and its response to therapeutics and vaccines, we anticipate that all of the same measures will, at least in part, provide some protection against Omicron.”

References:

Agence France-Presse Top US scientist Fauci: Omicron “almost certainly not heavier” than Delta variant. France 24.

CDC. COVID-19. Omicron variant: what you need to know. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/variants/omicron-variant.html. Accessed December 7, 2021.

SAMRC. Tshwane District Omicron Variant Patient Profile – Early Features. https://www.samrc.ac.za/news/tshwane-district-omicron-variant-patient-profile-early-features. Accessed December 7, 2021.

The White House. https://www.whitehouse.gov/live/. Accessed December 7, 2021.

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