Experts say it's not likely that the highly transmissible omicron variant — or any other variant — will lead us closer to herd immunity against COVID-19.
U.S. health regulators on Friday authorized bebtelovimab, a new antibody drug that targets the omicron variant, a key step in restocking the nation's arsenal against the latest version of COVID-19.
Propelled in part by the wildly contagious omicron variant, the U.S. death toll from COVID-19 hit 900,000 on Friday, less than two months after eclipsing 800,000.
With the brutal omicron wave rapidly loosening its grip, new cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. are falling in 49 of 50 states, even as the nation's death toll closes in on another bleak round number: 900,000.
The differences between omicron and delta variant symptoms were analyzed as part of a COVD-19 infection survey.
Medical experts caution the new data is positive news, but we still may continue to see very high numbers of case counts and hospitalizations even as the curve heads down.
Scientists stress that even if the findings of these early studies hold up, any reductions in severity need to be weighed against the fact omicron spreads much faster than delta and is more able to evade vaccines.
As the omicron variant continues to spread across the country, many events are getting canceled and businesses are closing.
In the two weeks since omicron first was reported in Southern Africa, other doctors have shared similar stories. All caution that it will take many more weeks to collect enough data to be sure, their observations and the early evidence offer some clues.
“Thus far, it does not look like there’s a great degree of severity to it,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said.
Companies Pfizer and BioNTech are currently running tests in response to the rapidly spreading omicron variant with data likely available in the coming weeks.
A research group has been tracking reinfections in South Africa and reported a jump with the arrival of omicron that they hadn't seen when two previous variants, including the extra-contagious delta variant, moved through the country.