Omicron ’causes milder illness’ but can still lead to hospitalisation for severely ill

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The Omicron Covid variant is causing milder illnesses amongst most Brits and the booster jabs are working well to protect them, new data from the UK Health Security Agency has revealed

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The Omicron Covid variant is causing milder illnesses for most Brits than the Delta strain a new report claims – but the risk of hospitalisation for the severely ill remains.

The UK Health Security Agency reportedly also believes booster jabs are working effectively to dull the severity of the new strain.

If true that would mean people who fall ill with Omicron are less likely to fall severely ill than those who have Delta.

The UKHSA has yet to publish its findings on the seriousness of Omicron, but Politico claims the body is expected to conclude that whilst two doses of vaccine wane against Omicron, a booster significantly increases protection.

A third jab means people are less likely to have severe infection or end up in hospital.

However, whilst milder overall, the report claimed that UKHSA believe Omicron is still severe enough to possibly create large numbers of hospitalisations.

A vaccinator prepares vaccines at a COVID-19 booster vaccination centre at the Titanic Exhibition Centre in Belfast
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PA)

Added to this, for those who become severely ill, the report claims that evidence suggests there is still a significant risk of hospitalisation and death.

The report also claimed that UKHSA found that transmissibility of Omicron is very high, meaning that despite being more mild it could still infect more people and lead to more hospitalisations.

Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty has previously cautioned against optimism around assuming Omicron was less deadly than its predecessors.

This comes as a new paper from South Africa offered similar conclusions.

It draws similar findings in the country where Omicron was first identified, claiming people with the variant are less likely to be hospitalised but once in hospital, outcomes are not markedly better than with Delta.

The mixed news comes as the country prepares for what could be more restrictions after Christmas after Boris Johnson announced no new Covid rules would be introduced before the 25.

In a video clip released on Tuesday Johnson once again pledged to do “whatever it takes” to protect the nation but warned he could not rule more measures after Christmas.

Members of the public wait to receive their Covid-19 vaccine or booster at a NHS (National Health Service) bus outside an Asda Supermarket in the town of Farnworth, near Manchester
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AFP via Getty Images)

He called for people to exercise caution when going about their christmas plans.

However, as no new restrictions are introduced in England, both Wales and Scotland have already announced new restrictions and guidelines to try and deal with the new variant.

In Scotland, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has told people to limit their socialising before Christmas and limited the numbers on all outdoors events from December 26 for at least three weeks.

Firefighters Dan Joslin (C), Tom Ventress (L) and Matt Smither (2R) help prone a Covid-19 patient as they work alongside critical care nurses in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth
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AFP via Getty Images)

In Wales, nightclubs are closing from December 27, with more restrictions announced this week.

Similarly, in Northern Ireland, there is a limit of 30 people mixing from different households with more restrictions expected this week.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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