Exchange is monitoring the Omicron variant, which has skyrocketed COVID cases across much of the world. Fortunately, some early data suggests that this variant could be, in some cases, less fatal than previous variants.
Cases have increased dramatically, with an average of 400,000 new cases recorded in the United States each day, double the numbers from last week, excluding any unreported positive home test. Dr Anthony S. Fauci, chief medical adviser to President Biden, speaking to ABC on Sunday, said: “The real bottom line you are concerned about is: are we protected by vaccines against serious illnesses leading to hospitalization ? “
Hospitalizations increased by 31% and deaths by 37%. This increase is largely, but not entirely, due to the unvaccinated. At a press conference, Dr Fauci said that “the pattern and disparity between cases and hospitalizations strongly suggests that there will be a lower hospitalization-to-case ratio when the situation becomes clearer.”
Source: The Washington Post
While the coming month may see an increase in hospitalizations, some of the early evidence in South Africa suggests the Omicron wave may abate quickly. “All indicators suggest that the country may have passed the peak of the fourth wave nationally,” the government said in a statement on Thursday. South African officials also noted that people infected with Omicron were less likely to end up in hospital and tended to recover faster than they would have with previous variants.
The Exchange management team will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as it occurs. Exchange is currently scheduled for February 13e until February 16e.
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