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WHO warns that Omicron variant poses very high risk

85 Comments
By JAMEY KEATEN, RAF CASERT and MARI YAMAGUCHI

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Covid symptoms linked to the new omicron variant have been described as “extremely mild” by the South African doctor who first raised the alarm over the new strain.

15 ( +28 / -13 )

I am hopeful, perhaps to the point of naivety that what I read is true: that as the virus mutates to become more transmissible, it also tends to become less lethal.

Until that time, vaccinate and boost.

12 ( +32 / -20 )

The World Health Organization warned Monday that the global risk from the omicron variant is "very high" 

Didn't they not just yesterday say that a travel ban and closing borders are not necessary?

What a bunch of incompetent idiots.

10 ( +25 / -15 )

Evidence they evaluated must be really concerning for them to do this embarrassing quick turnaround

10 ( +15 / -5 )

It's likely that Omicron is already here or it will come in through Japanese returnees rather than through foreigners. I'm all for keeping Japan safe, but I hope this is not the way of the future.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

Sorry China, with no vaccine against this variant the Olympics must be canceled.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Omicron poses an extremely high risk for the world. It's symptoms include travel bans, lockdowns, event cancellations. Anyone affected by this variant can expect severe loss of money as well as increased levels of stress. To combat this the Jgovernment will recommend everyone continue commuting to work every morning but cancel all leisure activities. It is recommended you do not see your friends and family, however meeting your coworkers and bosses every day is perfectly safe. If this continues the government will impose a discount domestic travel scheme, however they will also ask you to please stay home.

If you experience a sore throat, fever or cold like symptoms it is recommended you ignore it and continue working.

9 ( +16 / -7 )

I agree with other posters in that everything I’ve read so far on Omicron (and admittedly that isn’t much) seems to indicate that it’s no worse than other mutations, certainly as far as virulence is concerned. In fact I came to this article straight from reading an article on Australian media saying exactly that.

The WHO has to walk a very fine line between issuing timely warnings on one hand or being seen as panic merchants on the other. In this case, they seem to have fallen into the second category.

8 ( +15 / -7 )

This is what, the 4th or 5th recognized variant? Researchers and experts in the field have been stating all along that variants WILL pop up, as the virus mutates.

It will be a few weeks until researchers world-wide get a better understanding about this new variant and how much of a threat it poses. Until them people need to take a deep breath and go on with all the precautions that have been until now.

Countries that are stopping travelers are just doing do diligence and taking precautions, and SA should be commended for coming out openly with telling the world about this variant.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

U.S. President Joe Biden called the omicron variant a cause for concern but "not a cause for panic."

He's right its not a cause for panic - if you listened to the experts over the weekend and not the media pundits, they all said this - its concerning but its also not known what exactly we are dealing with. So far, the cases in Africa are mild so we may have nothing to worry about.

7 ( +15 / -8 )

The same WHO that could not identify the origin of the virus as china whilst having their hands full carting the wheelbarrows of yuan out the back door.

They have no credibility anymore.

7 ( +15 / -8 )

Weren't they saying that the symptoms are very mild and that closing borders was racist? The fake Dr. Tedros is a complete clown.

6 ( +13 / -7 )

While various governments and drug companies are still working on examing thid Omicron variant, how is it that the WHO can come out and press the panic button?

6 ( +9 / -3 )

How do they know it's high risk when all the evidence they have shows that it's not?

Delta do not cause any specially dangerous disease compared with the previous strains, but the increase of transmissibility greatly increased the negative effect in the public health. With omicron having apparently a bigger risk that means the evidence available DO points out to high risk, even if only for this reason.

We might as well just make our own to save expenses.

If Japan had a healthy environment for biological innovation this should not be any trouble, a booster is a much simpler thing to develop and test compared with a priming vaccine. But decades of making impossible to do clinical trials and get approvals for anything used in humans this means other countries will make them first and Japan will have to buy it from them, at this point even Cuba is more advanced.

5 ( +21 / -16 )

It is just more fear mongering to force every one to get jabbed. South Africa reports no deaths and symptoms are mild. It is just a Flu. In fact, symptoms are even milder and in shorter duration than the common Flu.

So, how many medical papers reviewing thousands of cases of this strain have you read? Exactly, none.

After 2 years, over 5 million deaths and countless millions of peoples health terribly damaged, sane people would have thought the "its just a flu" crowd would have woken up to themselves.

5 ( +17 / -12 )

This new variant is so dangerous that we must be prepared for more lockdowns, more vaccines, more masks, more economic disaster, more cases of depression and mental illnesses and suicides due to isolation……but not yet one call to cancel the Olympics. Forgive me if I am skeptical.

5 ( +13 / -8 )

Gain of function research should be banned forever. Unless done at one of the poles. North or South.

Delta, Alpha, other variants. Now Omicron now? How many now? We are making Mother Earth hazardous for human beings to live.

Another another set back.

Honestly, being new here to J.T.

I have to say that in my 20 plus years of service in a branch that was meant to deal with pandemics and serious hazmat situations. US moved this research to China cause my government knew not to mess with it.

The drug companies, the worlds governments. The WHO the CDC. I think are taking advantage of this mutating pathogen.

We are being boxed in our perspective countries and not being allowed to travel.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Covid symptoms linked to the new omicron variant have been described as “extremely mild” by the South African doctor who first raised the alarm over the new strain.

Good because the world can’t keep going on disruptive lockdowns every time a new variant is born otherwise the world economy will never recover.

4 ( +22 / -18 )

How do they know it's high risk when all the evidence they have shows that it's not?

You mean "all the evidence" from the past 3 days? Did you even read past the headline of this article? Did you even read past the headline of the article you linked? Even that two paragraph "article" had a sentence saying it's still too early to tell.

The WHO is not saying this is the apocalypse. Their saying caution is warranted until enough time has passed to study the variant.

4 ( +14 / -10 )

Angelique Coetzee, the chair of the South African Medical Association who discovered this new variant, and sees her stating: “What we are seeing clinically in South Africa — and remember I'm at the epicenter of this where I'm practicing — is extremely mild, for us these are mild cases…We haven't admitted anyone, I've spoken to other colleagues of mine and they give the same picture”.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Mild symptoms and no reported deaths?! Wake me when the mass hysteria from omicron is over. This is just plain pathetic.

3 ( +16 / -13 )

bass4funkToday  07:16 am JST

Good because the world can’t keep going on disruptive lockdowns every time a new variant is born otherwise the world economy will never recover.

The world economy recovered from a Great Depression and couple of world wars.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

BlacklabelToday  10:25 am JST

UK is doing boosters 3 months later now. USA is doing 6 months. the time is getting shorter and shorter. 

Soon someone who got vaccinated early this year will be ready for Booster #2. then what

is that a problem?

3 ( +8 / -5 )

I'm so glad to begin to hear people mentioning the politicization and unreliability of the WHO.

I'm so glad to begin to hear people offering up contradictory comments coming from (sane, calm) unpoliticized health care professionals, when compared to (ignorant, fear-mongering) media talking heads.

I'm so glad to begin to hear people mentioning the double-standards of some politicians calling their opponents' banning of entrants from COVID affected countries as being "racist" or "xenophobic"...only to then go on and do the exact same thing once they're in power.

I tried to post such comments myself, but for some reason, I keep getting banned! lol. Must be outside of the Overton Window at the time of posting, but now it's OK, hmm? I hope so!

3 ( +8 / -5 )

While various governments and drug companies are still working on examing thid Omicron variant, how is it that the WHO can come out and press the panic button?

Yep, that's my point. Everyone should calm down and adopt a wait and see policy until those investigations are completed, or until more on the ground evidence emerges as to whether this mutation is something to worry about or not. At the moment we have just have the various bandwagons being driven at one another, plus a few people who just love the sound of their own voices.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

First, the reality is that because of the inevitable lag between a variant evolving and it being detected, and the frequency and speed of travel in our present world remaining high despite the pandemic, border closures and targeted travel bans are nothing more than an example of politicians wanting to be seen as 'doing something' about a crisis, rejecting effective things because they 'are two unpopular' but doing something highly public that people think is effective despite those who study the situation, and real world experience, being clear that it is very ineffective.

A physically isolated, low international traffic state might 'win the lottery grand prize' and not have had the variant hitch a ride with someone into it by the time the variant has been identified, but unless it outright closes its borders to EVERYONE, even returning citizens, diplomats, and the people moving goods and supplies around the world, if the variant deserves the title 'variant of concern', it will be in the country and spreading amongst the population within days anyway.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I'm perfectly okay with people saying no to vaccines as long as there are other people who want to take up the "refused" dose.

Means as long as supply is less than the population there's not much of a difference really, same number of people will be inoculated.

The real problem is when there's an excess of supply and people don't want to get vaccinated

2 ( +6 / -4 )

The WHO is right in that omicron's highly mutated spike protein will better evade the already waning protection conferred by vaccination.

MAY better evade, not all antigenic regions have been mutated,

But several have been mutated, so many of the antibodies conferred by the vaccines will not provide any benefit. Just like the vaccines still offered (for a few months) some protection against delta, it was inferior to that provided against the Wuhan variant. We should expect it offers even less protection against omicron.

and this same reason applies for natural immunity from previous infections

Except that natural infection also produces antibodies against other viral proteins, which as far as I know have not changed with omicron. Also, unlike the vaccines, natural infection produces significant and stable quantities of IgA antibodies, which are the ones we really want.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

WHO also decided to name this variant Omicron after skipping two letters in the Greek alphabet: "Nu", because it sounds like "new" and "Xi", because...well, never mind.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Japan has been making it very problematic for even Japanese people to return before this news: now it's even worse. My wife, before this news, cannot afford to add 10 days to a much-needed return, let alone the expenses required to do so. Returning is becoming a dream only.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Nothing sells like fear - stock up on toilet paper people

1 ( +13 / -12 )

stock up on toilet paper people

Actually, don’t. Better for everyone to not panic.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

If they downplay it as ‘very high risky’, then I surely wouldn’t recommend to expect something irrelevant. It’s much more infectious and spreading by quite a factor compared to wild type and former variants, the virus loads are quickly rising and extremely high inside the bodies of the infected and if now some of you here make funny remarks about lighter or almost no symptoms, I have quite some doubts too. Do you really consider body aches all over and extreme tiredness in those strong young people less severe than a running nose or temporary losing of taste? But first let’s see more details, as usual the truth is mostly in between, isn’t it?

1 ( +5 / -4 )

@Blacklabel

Yup, rinse and repeat. There is now a direct conduit from central banks to pharma companies and we are on the hook for the bill, what's not to like?

1 ( +13 / -12 )

Getting very difficult to believe the experts and the scientific proof.

The media appears to be more lethal than the virus.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

If those antibodies are not neutralizing (as expected, because how an antibody that recognize a protein inside the virus is going to do anything against it) then they can be sky high and would make no difference.

The spike protein is not the only exposed protein.

And again, until igA levels are correlated with protection it is also irrelevant how elevated they are,

That is basic immunology. IgAs are the ones secreted in the mucous, they offer protection at the site of viral entry. Vaccines don't give you any significant IgAs, that is probably why they do not reduce transmission, they at most reduce symptoms (for a few months).

1 ( +6 / -5 )

"This is what, the 4th or 5th recognized variant?"

No, there are many variants of Covid-19

From Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Variants_of_SARS-CoV-2

Variants of concern (WHO)

Listed below are the Variants of Concern (VOC) recognised by the World Health Organization as of June 2021.[14] Other organisations such as the CDC in the United States have at times used a slightly different list. As of July 2021, their list matched that of the WHO.[15]

5 Variants of concern (WHO)

5.1 Alpha (lineage B.1.1.7)

5.1.1 B.1.1.7 with E484K

5.2 Beta (lineage B.1.351)

5.3 Gamma (lineage P.1)

5.4 Delta (lineage B.1.617.2)

5.5 Omicron (lineage B.1.1.529)

Variants of interest (WHO)

Listed below are the Variants of Interest (VOI) which are, as of August 2021, recognised by the World Health Organization.[14] Other organisations such as the CDC in the United States may at times use a slightly different list.[15]

6 Variants of interest (WHO)

6.1 Lambda (lineage C.37)

6.2 Mu (lineage B.1.621)

Former variants of interest

7 Former variants of interest

7.1 Epsilon (lineages B.1.429, B.1.427, CAL.20C)

7.2 Zeta (lineage P.2)

7.3 Eta (lineage B.1.525)

7.4 Theta (lineage P.3)

7.5 Iota (lineage B.1.526)

7.6 Kappa (lineage B.1.617.1)

1 ( +2 / -1 )

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/science/article/3157678/lambda-mu-omicron-why-who-skipped-nu-and-xi-name-latest

Lambda, Mu ... Omicron? Why the WHO skipped ‘Nu’ and ‘Xi’ to name latest coronavirus variant

The health body says one is confusing and the other is a common last name

One critic says the decision reflects the WHO’s fear of the Communist Party

.....

But in a statement to Associated Press on Saturday, the WHO said: “‘Nu’ is too easily confounded with ‘new’, and ‘Xi’ was not used because it is a common last name.”

It said its “best practices for naming disease suggest avoiding causing offence to any cultural, social, national, regional, professional or ethnic groups”.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

WHO warns that Omicron variant poses very high risk

It is amazing that the China-dependent WHO is still pushed as the authority on this issue, while everybody by now knows that that WHO basically says what the CCP wants them to say.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

WHO have said so many things in the past so by my opnion-i dont trust them every word they say.fact is that virus will mutate more and more and yes-will get more and more weak.

i think better stay calm,keep closed borders,take care about own immunity.ones who wants be vaccinated-let them get their jabs.dont panic over some new mutations of virus as this is just fact and no one can do anything about that.

take care stay safe everyone and dont panic...all will be just okay

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Taste the fear. This all ends when everyone just says, NO. Stop complying.

0 ( +11 / -11 )

I don’t think this “fear.” I’m glad to see proactive precautions.

So yes, a doctor in SA reported mild symptoms. But that doesn’t mean it will be mild for everyone. Less you forget that for millions of people, all forms of covid have been mild or asymptomatic. So we cannot apply the results of a small sample to the worldwide population.

It’s not fear. Let’s be safe and assume this is the big one until we have a solid system of defense to wipe it out.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

JT I really don't know where you got that statement in the title. Please check again and do not mislead unnecessarily.

https://www.who.int/news/item/28-11-2021-update-on-omicron

0 ( +2 / -2 )

But in a statement to Associated Press on Saturday, the WHO said: “‘Nu’ is too easily confounded with ‘new’, and ‘Xi’ was not used because it is a common last name.”

Wait what they say when the variants come around to "Chi" a couple of Greek characters further on.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

virusrex

Pretending the whole of the scientific and medical communities can't be right because they are all in a big conspiracy

Please stop referring to yourself as the "whole of the scientific and medical communities". You can not possibly read every medical publication in the world, so this claim to authority is getting old.

Now, you have not refuted the fact that many infectious diseases have affected humanity for thousands of years without ever becoming milder. 

Please name one that has become endemic and is still as deadly as the original infection! That will be interesting. Yes, there are some infections that remain lethal (like Ebola), but they kill their victims quickly and then burn themselves out. You are shifting goalposts by using the vague word "affected".

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Sounds like fear mongering I hope the train are empty so I can get a seat during rush hours on the train

-1 ( +16 / -17 )

RecklessToday  09:20 am JST

Sorry China, with no vaccine against this variant the Olympics must be canceled."

I think you just hit the nail on the head!

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

So now its 2 jabs and a booster per variant?

Good question. I am also interested in that answer.

If so, I would have 6 shots against the current "dangerous" two variants plus 1 shot against influenza.

7 shots of "whatever kind of" fluids within 8 months or 1 year.

If a new "dangerous" variant appears, another 3 shots?

Damned, some day I have more different kind of fluids in my body system than blood.

I can not really positively believe that this would be good for my body.

-1 ( +10 / -11 )

We are lucky we live in an age where science is able to combat these viruses. The people who lived in the dark ages were not so lucky with the plague. With vaccines and restricting movements of people this virus will eventually disappear. It might take a few years but people must remain vigilant. The world has overcome many pandemics since vaccines were developed. Polio, dypyheria, Spanish flu, typhoid, whooping cough, SARS and many more. People need to stay positive and do all they can to prevent the spread and the death toll of this virus. Anti-vaxers should be punished for their irresponsibility. Perhaps Darwinism will be their punishment.

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

The WHO is right in that omicron's highly mutated spike protein will better evade the already waning protection conferred by vaccination.

MAY better evade, not all antigenic regions have been mutated, and this same reason applies for natural immunity from previous infections, which would explain why they warn about increase of reinfections.

So now its 2 jabs and a booster per variant?

No, now it is "see how is the protection conferred by previous immunity and decide according to it", if a booster is necessary that means previous immunity (including from infection) is not enough to reduce the risks.

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

Everyone knows it's just an excuse for the Big Pharma concoctions not working.

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

??? Think it through, read it again. People are making those comments when there are mild symptoms being reported, right?

You were the one making them lol

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

One of the ironic things which is rarely mentioned regarding COVID is that, besides heart attack victims having better survival (ischemic adaptation), people who smoke tobacco daily seem to be protected from infection by COVID

That is a badly outdated conclusion

https://www.bhf.org.uk/informationsupport/heart-matters-magazine/news/coronavirus-and-your-health

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34328284/

https://thorax.bmj.com/content/76/7/714

https://theconversation.com/smokers-were-never-really-protected-from-covid-despite-what-early-studies-claimed-168997

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41533-021-00223-1

Anyone who has had a heart attack is at high risk from coronavirus, no matter when your heart attack was. This means if you catch coronavirus you are more likely to get seriously ill than other people who don’t have health issues.

 To date, there is no strong evidence (i.e., evidence based on causal research) that smokers are protected against SARS-CoV-2 infection. Moreover, there is growing evidence that smokers have worse outcomes after contracting the virus than non-smokers

Stopping at preliminary studies to make up your mind can be worse than not reading anything in the first place, the scientific evidence proves above any rational doubt that there is no protection derived from smoking.

Parasites have no control over the adaptation they undergo, something not being "good" for them have no weight, nor they can in any way "learn" to do things differently, if the parasite kills its host and ends up without a way to survive that will be it. SARS-CoV-2 could become much more lethal and still survive infecting people, so there is no real adaptive presure that would make a less serious disease the only possible outcome. There are many pathogens that kill their host when they jump species, and human die from them every day from prehistory without the disease becoming less dangerous. Assuming COVID can only get milder on every variant is not rational.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

Willfully spreading disinformation is not "free speech."

-2 ( +11 / -13 )

so once they have a vaccine for the new variant, do all the people vaccinated for the other variant have to take that one too?

So now its 2 jabs and a booster per variant?

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

UK is doing boosters 3 months later now. USA is doing 6 months. the time is getting shorter and shorter.

Soon someone who got vaccinated early this year will be ready for Booster #2. then what?

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

This is all a scheme. Funny how the variant name becomes available to us after the government. We come together as sovereign individuals to form a society and elect representatives to manage the systems on our behalf...not dictate and enforce systems.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

We come together as sovereign individuals to form a society and elect representatives to manage the systems on our behalf...not dictate and enforce systems.

It is the rise of the technocratic society. Politicians, scientists, psychologists and other so-called experts get to decide policy and the rest follow orders like the good citizens are. In this kind of modern day society, the “man on the Clapham omnibus” can go do one.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Getting very difficult to believe the experts and the scientific proof.

The media appears to be more lethal than the virus.

Yeah, because all the wild claims made in this thread are so reliable and based on factual evidence /s

The only frenzy is coming from the conspiracy nuts.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

ian,

Calm down

??? Think it through, read it again. People are making those comments when there are mild symptoms being reported, right?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

The spike protein is not the only exposed protein.

But it is the only one for which neutralizing activity has been demonstrated, do you know what is the risk of having antibodies attached to non neutralizing epitopes in proteins unrelated to the infection process? ADE.

That is basic immunology

Basic immunology means that you can't assume a value is a surrogate of protection until you demonstrate it is, do you have the data that demonstrate levels correlate to protection? because if you don't that means you are just baselessly assuming something not proved, which is anti-scientific.

And you are teribly misinformed, there are many vaccine candidates that are applied in the nasal mucosa, and for some elevated levels of igA have been shown, the simple fact that they are not in the market should be enough to understand that this fact alone do not mean they improved the protection compared with the previous vaccines.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

While no deaths linked to omicron have been reported so far…..

Finally, people are beginning to see that the ‘concern’ is about your tax money buying more injections..

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

One of the ironic things which is rarely mentioned regarding COVID is that, besides heart attack victims having better survival (ischemic adaptation), people who smoke tobacco daily seem to be protected from infection by COVID. Both of these observations have been called the "Smoker's Paradox" and are not widely publicized facts and will cause people not easily given to doing their own research in the literature to get cramps in their ocular muscles from eye rolling. But the upper respiratory system of the smoker is already a 'war zone', plus additional mucus and the free radicals and other chemical constituents in the smoke itself are all enemies of what are, in actuality, rather fragile packages of information. I have yet to see in ANY list of COVID vulnerable comorbidities Tobacco Smoking. But, then, for Humans, 'paradoxes' are very often just things our current understanding is too small to recognise. This is not to say that 'smoking' is good for one but just yet another curious and seemingly as yet inscrutable fact which the processes of the Life around us present to us daily.

For Omicron, this could be the variant which infects, gives rise to a mild but EFFECTIVE long term blocking of other variants, and does not cause the cytokine storm or sepsis which is the real killer in COVID infection as it was in the 1918 N1H1. For a parasite, killing the host is not a positive outcome. The Human immune system protects not only the individual but the herd as well and it does that in the same way that immune cells eliminate infected cells, it eliminates infected individuals. Immune defense is designed to protect the genepool and doesn't really care much what we as individual and expendable units want. And if a parasite wants to be successful in a new genepool, it has to learn to quit killing its susceptible hosts whose future offspring will be its hosts generation after generation. If it kills all susceptibles, it will kill itself. Let's hope that, if we can't protect ourselves, perhaps Nature in its multibillion year history, in one way or another, can.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

Uncertainty equals risk. Everyone knows that, Forrest

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

I don't get it, what's wrong with the WHO? I've only ever known them as an organization that is here to look over the health of the people of the world. Why are people whining about that? Talk about first-world problemz.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

JT I really don't know where you got that statement in the title. Please check again and do not mislead unnecessarily.

That is not the communication that the article is talking about,

is a technical paper https://twitter.com/WHO/status/1465219634634928129

Risk Assessment  Given mutations that may confer immune escape potential and possibly transmissibility advantage, the likelihood of potential further spread of Omicron at the global level is high. Depending on these characteristics, there could be future surges of COVID‐19, which could have severe consequences, depending on a number of factors including where surges may take place. The overall global risk related to the new VOC Omicron is assessed as very high. 

Gain of function research should be banned forever. Unless done at one of the poles. North or South.

That is a completely irrational position, the pandemic hugely more likely origin is natural according to several kinds of evidence (epidemiological, molecular, phylogenetic, etc.) so nothing would be gained from banning this kind of research.

On the other hand gain of function is precisely how predictions were able to be made about antigenic properties of different coronaviruses, and allowed the testing of several vaccine candidates in animal models, with the result of laying the ground for the opportune development of safe and effective vaccines against COVID.

So you are suggesting to eliminate the tool that let people fight the pandemic just because you want to believe (without any evidence) that it is related to its origin.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

The flip-flop WHO at it again. Yesterday they were downplaying the virus, criticizing nations for banning travellers from southern Africa. Now, a day later, it is "very high risk".

All along, the WHO, and that African Tedros, have never taken this once-in-a-hundred year pandemic- that has killed so many millions - seriously. Nations would be advised to ignore WHO and take strong measures against this extreme present threat themselves.

-4 ( +18 / -22 )

Spreading fear as usual by WHO and the media and unfortunately people listen.

-4 ( +13 / -17 )

With omicron having apparently a bigger risk that means the evidence available DO points out to high risk

Are you aware of what you're writing? Risk of what? Risk of death? Not quite. Risk of severe symptoms? That's the opposite of what the evidence shows so far. So what's the risk?

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

The WHO is right in that omicron's highly mutated spike protein will better evade the already waning protection conferred by vaccination.

But on the bright side, according to South African doctors treating covid patients the symptoms are much milder than previous variants:

“Their symptoms were so different and so mild from those I had treated before,” said Dr Coetzee, a GP for 33 years who chairs the South African Medical Association alongside running her practice.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Soon someone who got vaccinated early this year will be ready for Booster #2. then what?

I am really wondering how many jabs per year they are willing to say people need. 6 months is tolerable, but its beginning to be like changing the oil in your car. Wait too long, and you'll risk damaging your engine. Every 3 months is too much IMHO...but I know those supersciency provaxx peeps are willing to get jabbed everytime they step outside.

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

This all ends when everyone just says, NO. Stop complying.

Yup, sure will stop that way but tons will die

Better everyone says yes

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

But several have been mutated, so many of the antibodies conferred by the vaccines will not provide any benefit.

Which do not mean the protection must be insufficient, only that it might, and again this also applies for the immunity from previous infections according to the reports. If the "inferior" immunity still let people skip hospitalizations complications or death it can still be adequate.

Except that natural infection also produces antibodies against other viral proteins, which as far as I know have not changed with omicron.

If those antibodies are not neutralizing (as expected, because how an antibody that recognize a protein inside the virus is going to do anything against it) then they can be sky high and would make no difference. And again, until igA levels are correlated with protection it is also irrelevant how elevated they are, this would not be the first time where a respiratory pathogen or a vaccine is shown to elevate igA without providing any extra protection because of it.

Blindly assuming something must be true just because you like it is deeply antiscientific. Actual evidence is necessary to say something actually is in certain way.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

Please stop referring to yourself as the "whole of the scientific and medical communities". You can not possibly read every medical publication in the world, so this claim to authority is getting old.

I am not doing such a thing, it is just the reality, you want to prove something you believe is not contrary to consensus bring an institution of science or medicine from any country in the world that supports your beliefs.

If you can't find even one that supports your opinion with evidence that would mean it is not me you are trying to prove wrong, but the scientific consensus. It is in your hand to prove the claim wrong, if you can't that is your answer.

Please name one that has become endemic and is still as deadly as the original infection

One, why would it need to be endemic? the whole point is that becoming endemic is not the only kind of ecological balance between a pathogen and its host. Also your idea about lethal pathogens is also wrong, how can a pathogen appear again if it "burned itself out". The reality is that the pathogen keeps existing in nature surviving without problem even if the human host dies. You don't even have to use Ebola, since Rabies is much older, and still 100% lethal to anybody that presents symptoms. This is just another possibility for any pathogen, never becoming milder and keeping affecting the human population the same, it happens with also JEV for example, which is still extremely dangerous for humans even if it is present from prehistory.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

High risk of increased transmission... Low risk of noticing you even have it!

-6 ( +9 / -15 )

Yeah, I've come to see the depth of your understanding and it's not very

Unfortunate that you need this clarified but the articles that demonstrate you are mistaken were not written by me but by experts that proved having heart attacks or smoking do not protect from COVID. Pretending the whole of the scientific and medical communities can't be right because they are all in a big conspiracy (where they magically receive money to show how smoking is not good against COVID), makes even less sense. Specially when there is a terribly obvious industry that would benefit a lot from having their toxic products being considered protective against COVID, and for which you are trying to support without actual evidence, that would make your side the one more likely to have some hidden interest.

Now, you have not refuted the fact that many infectious diseases have affected humanity for thousands of years without ever becoming milder. To demand to be considered right just because "science" even when your beliefs can easily be proven wrong is much more deserving of criticism.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

From the article, and from the accompanying picture, I take the message to be that the world is dark and dreary, we’re all wandering aimlessly in perpetual danger; and as governments redouble their forced vaccination efforts, the public too should ratchet up the hysteria and disdain towards the unvaccinated. Message heard loud and clear.

-8 ( +9 / -17 )

It's likely that Omicron is already here or it will come in through Japanese returnees rather than through foreigners. I'm all for keeping Japan safe, but I hope this is not the way of the future.

LOL, I guess you have not heard but Japan's first covid 19 case was a Chinese national and Japan's first delta case was a UK national and Japan's first case of the South America variant Lamda was from Peru. Every country is doing exactly what Japan is doing. It is called common sense.

-9 ( +8 / -17 )

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reacted to the potential threat by urging everyone 18 and older to get booster shots, because "strong immunity will likely prevent serious illness." Earlier this month, the U.S. opened boosters to all adults but recommended them only for those 50 and older or people in long-term care.

Hope this keeps people off of airplanes so I can have peace and quiet during my travels.

-10 ( +4 / -14 )

Just when we though things get calm down, the world is now in a situation to accelerate to get the third shot as fast as possible to the public. This sucks.

Phizer dose cost around $20. A population of 125million with 3 doses is already around $7.5billion. This is not counting the AstraZeneca (around $2 per dose) and Moderna(around $25-37 per dose) we had bought. We will probably go bankrupt by the time the covid is gone. No wonder other countries need vaccine donations.

Btw, why the hell is AstraZeneca so cheap compare to the others?! We are being rip off if you ask me for buying pfizer. We might as well just make our own to save expenses.

-12 ( +15 / -27 )

WHO warns that Omicron variant poses very high risk

Thank you J government and PM Kishida for closing Japan. Japan's elderly thank you.

-13 ( +7 / -20 )

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