New California Data Reinforce the Evidence That Omicron Is Less Virulent Than Delta

The evidence is stronger that the COVID-19 variant of the coronavirus, although highly contagious and easily spread, can cause less severe symptoms than the previous versions. The researchers discovered that people infected in omicron had a half-time higher chance of being hospitalized than those infected with the delta variant. They were also less likely to have to receive intensive care or to die. Their average stay in hospital was 75% shorter for patients with omicron.

Joseph Lewnard (Berkeley epidemiologist) and his associates reviewed the records of almost 70,000 Kaiser Permanente patients from Southern California, who were positive for COVID-19 during November 30, to January 1. Three-quarters (75%) of all COVID-19 cases were found to have been in the omicron region during that time. The delta patients had 11 patients who received mechanical ventilation. However, only one of the patients from the omicron group was able to breathe properly. There were 14 cases of death in this group. Lewnard, along with his co-authors, report that “SARS-CoV-2 infection with Omicron variant infection was associated with significantly reduced severity of clinical endpoints” and shorter hospital stays.

COVID-19 data from the United States shows an increase in cases. The current spike in deaths has been less severe than the previous winter, which means that this year’s surge is less fatal. The following is a summary of the New York TimesCOVID-19 Database, The seven-day mean of new cases identified has exceeded sextupled over the past month while the average daily death has increased by 34%

This could be explained by a higher resistance to COVID-19 due to prior infections and vaccinations. However, the California study, which compared the outcomes of delta and Omicron in the same area over the same time, suggests that omicron may be less hazardous than delta for any one patient. Perhaps because it’s less likely to infect lungs.

Unvaccinated patients were 60% less likely to contract omicron than delta, and they had to go to hospital with the symptoms. It was evident that patients with comorbidities and/or who had been previously infected by COVID-19 had an omicron-reduced risk.

Lewnard et al. The “consistency” of Omicron-CoV-2 virus infected patients with a reduced likelihood of being hospitalized, across all age groups and without regard to prior immunity or SARS-CoV-2, is a strong argument against the possibility that host or behavioral factors are responsible for Omicron’s disease attenuation. The authors add that the “record of Omicron severity reductions in Omicron-infected patients who have had prior Omicron infection” is a compelling indication of an intrinsically more severe disease than only other (more immune), people becoming infected by Omicron variant.

Research has also shown that severe symptoms are less likely to be caused by omicron infections. A South African study found that COVID-19 victims infected from omicron infection were 88% less likely than other patients to need hospitalisation between October 1st and December 6th. Studying patients with coronavirus infection from November 1, 19 and December 19, a Scottish study found that Omicron was associated with two-thirds less risk of COVID-19 hospitalization than Delta.

A study in English found that Omicron patients were less likely than Delta patients to be admitted to the hospital for overnight stays. It was based on data from people tested December 1, 14 and 14. Canadian studies of patients between December 22 and 25 revealed that patients with omicron were 65% less likely than patients with delta to end up in the hospital.

Lewnard, et. al., concluded “These results collectively suggest that different viral factors between Omicron- and Delta variants such as differences in virus tropism, virulence, or viral susceptibility factors might be driving observed relative reductions of disease severity.” write. Ex vivo evidence suggests that Omicron variant infections may be restricted to large airways.

Lewnard and colleagues. According to Lewnard and colleagues, vaccine protection against Omicron variant infections may be less than that against Delta variant infections. This study, which is consistent with previous data, shows that vaccines provide strong protection against serious diseases caused by any variant.

For example, patients with three doses of vaccine were 85 percent more likely to have symptoms in an outpatient setting than patients without the same vaccination. The risk reduction was 62% for patients who received three doses for Omicron variant infections. The authors say “evidence for a reduction in severe outcomes among vaccinated cases with both Delta and Omicron variant infections in our study…suggests substantial public health benefits from continued COVID-19 vaccination.”