Fauci: The data indicate that Omicron is less sharp than Delta

Anthony Fauci

Fauci: The data indicate that Omicron is less sharp than Delta

NIAID Director Anthony Fauci said Wednesday that "all indications are of a lower risk from Omicron versus Delta," citing preliminary data during a White House briefing on COVID-19.

Fauci cited a working paper from the University of Edinburgh indicating that Omicron is linked to a 2/3 the percentage of reduction in the risk of hospitalization from COVID-19 compared to Delta, among other research.

Fauci added that "the conclusion about the level of risk in children has not yet been determined," warning that there will be more cases of hospitalization among children due to the high number of injuries.

"It is noteworthy, however, that many children are hospitalized with COVID as opposed to COVID, which reflects the high degree of infection prevalence among children," Fauci said.

What he's saying: Fauci cautioned that "it is difficult to determine the degree of lower severity due to pre-existing immunity or intrinsically low omicron virulence...or both."

"We should not be complacent because our hospital system can remain under stress in certain areas of the country," Fauci said.

"So, to repeat what we often say and deserves re-emphasis, the risk of severe disease from any prevalent variant, including Omicron, is much higher for the unvaccinated. Thus, eligible adults and children who get vaccinated, and vaccinated people, are boosted when they are qualified ".

Fauci's comments come when COVID-19 cases rapidly increase across the country, mainly due to the highly contagious Omicron type.

CDC Director Rochelle Walinsky said Wednesday that the current seven-day daily rate is about 240,400 cases per day, about 60% higher than the previous week.

The average seven-day hospitalizations are about 9,000 per day, a 14% increase from the previous week, which "could be because hospitalizations tend to be about two weeks later than cases, but may also be due to early indications."...of a milder disease than Omicron, especially among vaccinators," Walinsky said.

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