Omicron Wreaks Havoc In The U.S., Makes Up 95% Of New Covid Cases
The highly contagious omicron variant of the coronavirus is currently wreaking havoc in the United States, driving a huge increase in the reported Covid-19 cases in the country.
During the week ending in New year's day, CDC reported that the omicron variant of the virus represented 95% of the sequenced Covid-19 cases in the country while the previously-dominant delta variant is now only 4.6% of the sequenced Covid cases.
The omicron variant of the coronavirus has become the dominant strain in just a few weeks as the delta once represented 99% of the sequenced Covid cases at the beginning of December.
On Monday, the U.S. reported a pandemic record of more than 1 million new coronavirus infections making the average daily new infections at 480,000 in the past seven days.
The rise in omicron variant infections is attributed to its ability to "partially evade the immunity generated by vaccines" as various studies have suggested. This means that Covid vaccines are less effective against the infection caused by the omicron variant of the Covid-19 virus.
However, studies still point out that Covid-19 vaccines and boosters are still effective against severe illness and hospitalization caused by the virus.
In particular, a study by the U.K Health Security Agency found out that booster doses of Covid-19 vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna provide the best protection against the omicron variant and are up to 75% effective at preventing symptomatic infection of the virus.
On the other hand, a study from the University of Hong Kong suggests that the omicron variant of the virus poses a significantly lower risk of lung infection. Despite this, however, the omicron variant of the Covid-19 virus is found to replicate much faster in human airways compared to other variants making it spread faster.
Hospitalizations due to Covid-19 infection in the U.S. increased by 32% compared to the previous week as about 98,000 Americans are hospitalized, on average per day, as of January 3rd.