People infected with Omicron are 91% less likely to die, study says

Compared to the Delta variant, those infected with Ômicron are 52% less likely to be hospitalized and 91% less likely to die from Covid-19. The findings are part of a study by researchers at the University of Berkeley, California, who are associated with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), a US health agency.

Scientists analyzed epidemiological data on positive cases for Covid-19 in patients in the Southern California healthcare system from 11/30/21 to 1/1/22. We studied 52,297 cases of people with Ômicron and 16,982 cases with Delta infections.

Hospital admissions occurred in 235 and 222 of the cases with infections by the Ômicron and Delta variants, respectively. According to the researchers’ data, the symptomatic admission rate was 53% lower with Ômicron. Individuals with the new strain were also 74% less likely to need a bed in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

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In addition, the mean duration of hospitalizations was 3.4 days shorter for cases of the Ômicron variant. The data reflect a 69.6% reduction in length of stay.

The new strain has quickly achieved global spread and is already responsible for the majority of infections in the United States. However, according to the researchers, the risk of severe cases associated with Omicron infections, compared to previous variants of the coronavirus, remains unclear.

“Omicron variant infection was associated with a substantial reduction in the risk of serious clinical end points and a reduced risk of lengths of hospital stay,” the paper concludes.

The research was published on the MedRxiv platform. This is a pre-print and has not been peer-reviewed. As such, the findings cannot yet be used to guide medical practices. Although the funding is from the CDC, the results and conclusions do not necessarily represent the official position of the agency.

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