PAHO: Omicron to become dominant variant in Americas shortly

The Pan American Health Organization says it expects omicron to become the predominant coronavirus variant in the Americas in the approaching weeks, the place confirmed circumstances have reached file ranges

“While delta continues to be inflicting new infections in the Americas, based mostly on present tendencies, omicron is on monitor to become the dominant pressure in our area,” Carissa Etienne, director of the company recognized by its initials PAHO, mentioned throughout an online news convention.

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PAHO mentioned coronavirus virus infections throughout the Americas virtually doubled to 6.1 million on Jan. 8, from 3.4 million circumstances on Jan. 1. The variety of circumstances was 250% larger than a yr earlier, when there have been 2.4 million.

It mentioned that in the primary week of 2022, deaths associated to COVID-19 in the Americas elevated 31% from the earlier week.

The omicron variant, which spreads extra simply, has been detected in 42 of the 56 international locations and territories of the Americas.

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Omicron can infect vaccinated folks and those that have already come down with the virus, however some research point out that it’s much less probably to trigger extra extreme sickness than the delta variant and that immunization and booster doses provide robust safety.

But PAHO warned that omicron can nonetheless be deadly among the many unvaccinated and immunocompromised and urged international locations to proceed with their vaccination and prevention campaigns.

Almost 60% of the inhabitants of Latin America and the Caribbean has been absolutely vaccinated, however some 10 international locations in the area — particularly in the Caribbean — didn’t attain the purpose of 40% set by the World Health Organization for the tip of 2021. That purpose is 70% for the center of this yr.

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