(WXYZ) — Omicron will most likely not be the last COVID variant, according to Senior Official Dr. Bruce Aylward from the World Health Organization. He says the high transmission levels worldwide give the coronavirus plenty of opportunities to replicate and mutate.
Globally, there have been almost 19 million cases of COVID-19 in the last week. That’s up 20% from the previous week. Unfortunately, there’s just a lot of opportunity for the Omicron variant.
Part of the spreading is because of the low immunization rates in developing countries. The World Health Organization has pushed for equal distribution worldwide, but that has not happened. Shockingly, less than 10% of residents in developing countries have received one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Low immunization rates combined with an incredibly contagious variant means the door is wide open for the virus to mutate. Omicron is circulating at such intense levels right now, and I hope a more dangerous new variant doesn’t emerge.
Endemic doesn’t mean that the virus has disappeared. It just means that we’re living with it. It’s circulating at lower levels and not causing many infections or significantly impacting our way of life. But it’ll still cause death because it will still find vulnerable people.
U.S. health officials are expecting a new wave of deaths from Omicron. Somewhere between 50,000 and 300,000 deceased. Hospitalizations follow case numbers, and deaths follow hospitalizations. Now I know people want to think that Omicron is mild. I get that because research shows people infected are less likely to get sick than if they were infected with Delta, but Omicron still kills.
Additional Coronavirus information and resources:
View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.
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