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“... probably the most significant threat we’ve had since the start of the pandemic.”

Head of the U.K. Health Security Agency, Dr. Jenny Harries, on the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.

Published on

dec 15, 2021

  • The U.K. says the Omicron variant of the virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading more quickly than anticipated: “The difficulty is that the growth of this virus, it has a doubling time which is shortening, i.e. it’s doubling faster, growing faster. In most regions in the U.K., it is now under two days. When it started, we were estimating about four or five.’’
  • The U.K. has made booster shots available.
  • The European Union says the variant is expected to be the dominant strain by mid-January.
  • Why It Matters: Health officials do not know if this variant leads to more severe illness - BUT if it leads to more cases, the simple number of cases could lead to increased stressors on hospital systems and an increase in deaths.
  • America has often looked at the U.K. as a precursor of what to expect stateside.

EU official: Omicron to be dominant variant by mid-January

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