First data on omicron Covid variant’s severity is ‘encouraging,’ Fauci says

A healthcare worker is conducting a test at a laboratory in South Africa.

The White House's Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Sunday that preliminary data from South Africa suggests the variant may not be as bad as first thought.

Fauci warned that more data was needed to draw a complete picture of omicron's risk profile. The variant was of concern to the World Health Organization, prompting a flurry of international travel bans.

Fauci told CNN that it is too early to make a definitive statement about the situation, but that it does not look like there is a great degree of severity to it.

Fauci said that the signals are a bit encouraging, but that they have to be careful before they make any determinations about the severity.

The omicron variant has been detected in at least 15 states, and the number is expected to rise, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

South Africa has seen a rise in Covid cases attributed to the omicron variant. Experts are watching the data coming out of South Africa closely because of the uncertainty surrounding the omicron Covid variant.

A report from the South African Medical Research Council suggests that the strain could cause a milder infection. It is too early to tell if the variant poses a greater risk of death, given the relatively small amount of data and how recently it was detected.

The report showed that younger people were being admitted to the hospital with infections that could be related to lower vaccine rates in South Africa.

The situation at the Steve Biko/Tshwane District Hospital Complex in the Gauteng province has changed over the last two weeks, with a rise in Covid cases.

Most of the patients in the Covid wards were not oxygen dependent and had another medical or surgical reason for admission to the hospital, according to the report.

Doctors in South Africa anecdotally reported that the omicron variant could cause milder symptoms. There is no official data to back up the doctor's claims that she saw mild symptoms in her own patients.

The report noted that the age profile is different from previous waves.

The report found that the age profile of the 166 patients was different from the previous 18 months.

80% of admissions were below the age of 50 years in the last two weeks. This is in line with the age profile of admissions in all public and private hospitals in Tshwane and throughout the province in the last two weeks. The highest number of admissions was in the age group of 30 to 39 years, making up 28 percent of the total.

The increase in younger admissions to hospital could be a result of lower vaccination rates in younger people, as it states that more than 50% of people over the age of 50 have been vaccine.

A woman wearing a mask against the coronaviruses disease and a plastic bag on her head looks on as the new Omicron coronaviruses variant spreads in a town in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa.

There were 34 admissions in the Covid wards over the last two weeks, and no Covid-related deaths.

The report only shows the first two weeks of the omicron wave in the Tshwane district, so it's important to note that the clinical profile of admitted patients could change significantly over the next two weeks, by which time we can draw conclusions.

The data is based on preliminary findings from a small group of people.

The WHO-sars-cov-2-variant-of-concern was first reported by South Africa on Nov. 24, with the first sample dating back to Nov. 9.

The WHO's Covid-19 technical lead, Maria Van Kerkhove, said during a press briefing Friday that they see an increasing growth rate. We need to understand if it is more or less transmissible compared to Delta.

She said that there was an increase in the number of hospitalizations in South Africa, but that public health officials hadn't seen an increased risk of death yet.

It could take several weeks for the variant's true risk profile to emerge, as well as its potential response to current Covid vaccines.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a statement Monday that there was an urgent need for citizens to get vaccine, saying that it was the most effective way to prevent the spread of new infections and reduce the severity of illness.

We don't know what impact the omicron variant will have on hospital admissions, but we are preparing hospitals to admit more patients, and we are investigating how we can quickly secure medication for treating Covid-19.