SEATTLE, WA – According to the results of new research conducted by the University of Washington, the majority of people to catch the COVID-19 Omicron variant will possibly never display any symptoms at all, and that the hospitalization rate for the new – and highly transmissible – mutated strain are drastically lower than previous variants.
Director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, Dr. Chris Murray, noted that there could be many cases of Omicron in the United States by March 2022, but that many of them will likely be asymptomatic.
“We are expecting an enormous surge in infections…so, an enormous spread of Omicron,” he said. “Total infections in the U.S. we forecast are going from about 40 percent of the U.S. having been infected so far, to having in the next two to three months, 60 percent of the U.S. getting infected with Omicron.”
Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation researchers noted that while the Omicron variant can be up to 70 times more transmissible than the Delta variant, it nonetheless is far less potent and will lead to few deaths and hospitalizations; currently, the hospitalization rate of Omicron is approximately 90 to 96 percent less than Delta.
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In addition, experts are saying that the majority of those who are infected with Omicron – up to 90 percent – may possibly never even be aware that they had it, according to the Daily Mail.
“The majority will show no symptoms and have fewer hospitalizations and deaths compared to previous surges as Omicron is believed to be milder,” the British news outlet reported.
A UK study on the Omicron variant noted that when it does produce symptoms in a patient, they are more akin to that of the common cold, with the top five symptoms being a runny nose, headache, fatigue (mild or severe), sneezing, and sore throat.
This is opposed to the flu-like symptoms previous variants have produced, such as high fevers, a heavy cough, and the loss of taste and/or smell.