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WHO, U.S. scientists say Omicron no worse than other virus variants

38 Comments
By Nina Larson and Issam Ahmed

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38 Comments

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In my past posts, looking at the evidence ie number of deaths, it could be extrapolated that Omicron was not such a concern.

So, when are restrictions to be lessened?

-3 ( +16 / -19 )

"no worse than other variants" is an odd way to say that Fauci and company overreacted with their doom and gloom predictions and useless travel bans that didnt stop the spread at all.

-8 ( +19 / -27 )

"It followed a suspected outbreak of Omicron last week among dozens of partygoers who had all been vaccinated led to new restrictions in and around the capital Oslo."

-7 ( +13 / -20 )

Not as deadly as other previous variant, but it's infectious capability is ridiculous. The last thing you want is having the population getting sick and having fevers. Is dangerous for babies, pregnant women and elderly people. Or anyone in fact who is working. You might think having mild cases seem okay, but if it spread and hit cities, you gonna have hospitals overrun with vulnerable sick patient that need treatment. Those who claim is okay to let it spread clearly has no elderly or has a child under their care.

Is right of the government to keep the border close until spring. At least try to buy as much time as possible to prepare. We don't need more chaos during winter.

-1 ( +15 / -16 )

"no worse than other variants" is an odd way to say that Fauci and company overreacted with their doom and gloom predictions and useless travel bans

The travel bans were Trump's moves mate.

And they certainly aren't why America fared so pathetically during the pandemic.

4 ( +19 / -15 )

Is right of the government to keep the border close until spring

Backwards thinking, Hiro. Borders need to be opened up. The virus is endemic, and mutations are inevitable; do you want the borders closed for multiple years, or even decades, as the virus gradually mutates into something no more serious than the common cold? Ridiculous

0 ( +14 / -14 )

It's more transmissible, more vaccine resistant, but likely less severe in symptoms than delta. Whats not in this report (but has been reported multiple times elsewhere in the last week) is that people are more likely to be reinfected with this variant, as compared to previous strains. Anyway, I think overall this is good news, especially considering it won't be difficult to come up with a vaccine specific to omicron in a few months for those who want to take it.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

The travel bans were Trump's moves mate.

Oh? Then what is this?

“Fauci says officials feel 'very badly' about African travel ban, will reevaluate policy”

The United States – along with dozens of others across Europe and Asia – implemented travel bans against travelers from seven southern African nations after the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed the existence of a new variant, later designated omicron. 

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

Borders need to be opened up.

People who say this along with the "let it spread" crowd, always neglect to say how they would deal with the resulting and undoubted collapse of the health system in every single country. Even if just 1% of infected people required some for of hospitalization, that is hundreds of thousands people. No health system in the world could cope, it would collapse, and all other non-covid related treatments (cancer/trauma/brain) would have to be cancelled causing many hundreds of thousands more deaths. When you have an answer to this problem, then maybe I'll start taking you seriously.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

undoubted collapse of the health system in every single country.

If COVID were confined to a handful of countries, then it would make sense to close borders, but it is not; it is endemic. Opening the borders doesn't magically increase the population in each country... people are still getting sick and being hospitalized regardless of if they are allowed to travel or not.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

So, what they are saying is, it's not worse than bad. How wonderful!

3 ( +6 / -3 )

'Covid-19 has killed more than 5.2 million people around the world since the coronavirus was first declared in late 2019' - This article needs some fact checking. Covid-19 maybe on the death certificates alongside other causes of deaths but has not killed more than 5.2 million people of it's own. Much, much less if you account for the actual causes. 'Covid-19 was detected in more than 5.2 million people who have died', would be a better line.

-4 ( +9 / -13 )

Take from the Pope. He urged govt leaders at the Paris Peace Forum last month not to return to normality (preCovid19). This omicron virus is just a way to continue the fear and expand the control.

1 ( +9 / -8 )

That’s more like a seductive rumor or lovely fairy tale. Already heard of Omicron stealth BA.2 , not even detectable by PCR or that the vaccine efficacy is 41.4 fold lower and such? That whole story is by far not over yet.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

@Rob

I think you miss the point - as you say, people are getting sick/hospitalized even though borders are closed, and many countries health systems are strained. What do you think will happen to those already strained health systems if borders are opened, and millions of infected people start traveling all over the world?. Just ask any hospital administrator if they think thats a good idea - I would be my life that 100 out of 100 would so thats crazy.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Already heard of Omicron stealth BA.2 , not even detectable by PCR or that the vaccine efficacy is 41.4 fold lower

Sometimes I am wondering where you Guys always hear things like that.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

So, what they are saying is, it's not worse than bad. How wonderful!

My read was, what they're saying is, "it's not worse than bad, at least we don't think it will be, but we really don't know yet."

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Fauci has nothing but emotional, fear driven statements of vagueness always with some phrase that allows easy walking back to say he wasnt wrong.

Science is supposed to be data, measurements, numbers. Again his statement, does this sound like a scientist?

did not appear worse than prior strains based on early indications -- and was possibly milder.

The new variant is "clearly highly transmissible," very likely more so than Delta, the current dominant global strain, Fauci told AFP.

"It almost certainly is not more severe than Delta," he added. "There is some suggestion that it might even be less severe."

Then his usual closer of we dont know what might happen later (which is critical because later never comes, so he can never be wrong). Also warning (dont over interpret) then excuse (because).

But he noted it was important to not over-interpret this data because the populations being followed skewed young and were less likely to become hospitalised. Severe disease can also take weeks to develop.

"Then as we get more infections throughout the rest of the world, it might take longer to see what's the level of severity."

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

My read was, what they're saying is, "it's not worse than bad, at least we don't think it will be, but we really don't know yet."

Exactly. so dont blame us for the unnecessary panics and travel bans that crashed the world stock markets and disrupted people's lives.

Cause we didnt really know then, and we still dont know now. But be assured, we are going to keep speaking as "experts" anyway.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

The last thing you want is having the population getting sick and having fevers. 

Yes, or locked down, travel restricted, jabbed every couple months, and having to wear a mask for eternity. There is an expiration date I believe for the hysteria and we are going on 2 years. I don't think the majority of people in any country are willing to accept this as the "new normal" forever. If this continues, you'll start seeing governments being overthrown, or at least politicians that aren't so "pro-Science" being elected. Because if the "science" doesn't work on ending the pandemic, the only alternative is to do what we have done in the past, for Spanish Flu, for the Black Death, and thats just let nature run its course.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

 What do you think will happen to those already strained health systems if borders are opened, and millions of infected people start traveling all over the world?.

If an infected person from the US travels to Japan, then they are no longer spreading the infection in the US, and vice-versa. It's a net zero sum game.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

virus will mutate and will get more weak by any new mutation.so more people may be affected but fewer may have serious issues and fewer results with death.

build your immunity,eat well drink well sleep well enjoy life.better days are just around the corner.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

As I said , did anyone check I wonder , the governments of the world sure didn't ... It's not any more catchy than the previous versions, go check hopkins and view the African countries listed. All of then are trending down since begining of Nov. Death rates are also down. It's quite amazing the over-reation to this varient has been. The existing varients, esp. Delta, have been running rampet all over Europe and USA since September.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

What is any living organisms "objective" (Am not saying viruses have sentience) BUT it is to survive, spreads quicker and is milder? That's evolution for survival. Too virulent, and its hosts will be all dead before it can move on and spread, thus it would die out. Yet, seems a bit early to conclude that is moving towards being a manageable disease like the common cold (Same family of virus), for example.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

These reports are premature.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

We dodged a bullet - it's good it turns out it's not as bad as it could had been. The Omicron variant has so many mutations all in one variant. Look at this comparison image between Delta and Omicron:

https://static.straitstimes.com.sg/s3fs-public/211201_omicron-mutation.pdf

If there are enough changes on the variant, it could become unrecognisable to antibodies, and therefore enable the variant to evade immunity. Meaning, you have no immunity to it, and we're back to square-one

Still there's the danger if the Omicron continues spreading far and wide, more new mutations arising from Omicron could create new variants that's even further and further away un-recognizable by whatever immunity we have built up. So it may not be Omicron, but the "descendants" of Omicron that may eventually evade our immunity and make our herd immunity null and void. That's why don't spread it - put a halt to it creating new variants

"no worse than other variants" is an odd way to say that Fauci and company overreacted with their doom and gloom predictions and useless travel bans that didnt stop the spread at all.

It's better safe than sorry. The travel bans aren't to stop the spread - everybody knows it'll spread no matter what. The travel bans are to buy more time while we find out more about the new variant

And now look, we found out that the Omicron variant isn't worse than the other variants but is more transmissible - and this happened before it spread in all corners of the world. Imagine if another variant spread in all the corners of the world, and then only afterwards do we find out it's more deadly - would that be more preferable to you, trying to close the barn door after the horses have bolted out

Now imagine if China had imposed the travel bans on Wuhan earlier rather than later (and without trying to hide it first) - to buy the world more time to find out about the new coronavirus, develop countermeasures and treatments - before it spread all over the world. Wouldn't you have preferred they had done that?

Because if the "science" doesn't work on ending the pandemic, the only alternative is to do what we have done in the past, for Spanish Flu, for the Black Death, and thats just let nature run its course.

What we have done in the past is just to let masses of people die because we couldn't do anything about it. But now is different - we can do something about it. The science works to save as many lives as possible, while simultaneously trying to end the pandemic

Sacrificing so many lives just for the sake of maybe ending the pandemic quicker because it is an inconvenience for other people's lifestyles is the definition of "the end justifies the means"

virus will mutate and will get more weak by any new mutation.so more people may be affected but fewer may have serious issues and fewer results with death.

No, that's not how mutation works - mutations are random! Whether it gets weaker or stronger is by random, by lottery, by luck of the draw, etc. It's by random that the mutations that created the Omicron variant didn't lead to something worse

(After mutations occur, nature selects which mutations are "fit" to survive the given environments at the time. That's how "survival of the fittest" works)

In history, there's some virus mutations that led to a new weaker virus, but there's some virus mutations that led to a new stronger virus. HIV/AIDS is one of those that was weak when it was on primates, but when it mutated and transferred to humans, it became stronger and deadly

0 ( +6 / -6 )

The optimus prime variant has been discovered. It will transform you into a Camaro.

Halt all travel another 2 years.

Over it!!!! Little to know deaths now. Ready to get on with my wedding plans. Need to see blue waters and white sands again soon.

Let us out of Japan jail and let our loved ones back in. For real.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Be careful!

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

"no worse than other variants" is an odd way to say that Fauci and company overreacted with their doom and gloom predictions and useless travel bans that didnt stop the spread at all.

Let me guess, to you the world exists of the USA and nowhere else. Kind of like the Japanese who see the world as Japan and "gaikoku".

Nobody over reacted, they just did due diligence as no one wants to see a variant like Delta spread around the world. Well maybe you do, but that's why there are experts dealing with it!

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

More than likely it is already spreading its merry way though Japan and for some weeks already. Travel bans will make little difference as the buy more time crowd hope. it spreads very fast, much faster than Delta and it will not be long till everyone in the world is infected, travel bans or not as it is already established in most countries. Because it results in even more mild and asymptomatic cases than the previous strains it will barely be discovered in Japan as Japan simply does not test for mild and asymptomatic cases. its symptoms are also different to the other variants and not on the list for testing. Furthermore with their very minimal amount of tests they do conduct they don't do much genome testing either. It will be found in international arrivals because they are the only case where they test everybody but meanwhile it will just go its way around the country and as long as it really does not cause much severe illness or worse death it will not really matter.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

If an infected person from the US travels to Japan, then they are no longer spreading the infection in the US, and vice-versa. It's a net zero sum game.

Except that the infected person will have passed on the virus to others before leaving the country and those people will go on to infect others while the first person carries on infecting in the country of destination. Double whammy.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

BigYen

To me this looks like good news, optimistic news, and I’m not gonna argue with anyone about it.

If it is a) very infectious and b) relatively harmless as it looks for the moment, this is indeed very good news. The sooner this variant works its way through the population the better.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Perhaps people disagree with vaccine mandates because they are immoral, unconstitutional and contrary to the both the Nuremberg Code and United Nations declaration of Universal Human Rights.

no, they are not, and a big hint that a person has no idea about the whole thing but it is trying to impose an uniformed opinion is the completely mistaken use of the Nuremberg code, which is like trying to use the Geneva protocols to get away with killing your neighbor.

The sooner this variant works its way through the population the better.

"Relatively harmless" is still much more risky than the vaccines, so no, it is still much more dangerous to let the infection run rampant than the much safer option that is vaccinating them to get the benefit of immunity without the risks of the infection. That is the reason why no recognized institution of science or medicine support this terrible idea.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

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