University of Liverpool-led Study Demonstrates in Mouse Model that Omicron Variant 100-Fold Less Severe than Delta

Just how severe of a SARS-CoV-2 strain is Omicron? The initial batch of research into the matter provides some insight, but much is still up to discover. Both are highly transmissible, and due to the many mutations involving spike glycoprotein substitutions, the pathogen’s ability to evade a spectrum of neutralizing antibodies emerges as distinct features of the variant of concern. Thus far the disease appears milder with initially less death and higher proportional hospitalization rates. Hospitalizations may rise regardless, due to the sheer number of cases. America has shattered pandemic records with new cases per day. On January 1, 2022, just under 400,000 cases were recorded, far exceeding infections during the worst surges. With 1,328 deaths per day based on a seven-day average and Omicron’s ability to infect the vaccinated, if this variant becomes more severe the pandemic crisis will intensify and worsen in the winter months. But just how severe is Omicron? This was a major question that a research team from a collection of academic medical centers in the United Kingdom sought to answer in a recent study. Led by James Stewart, corresponding author, and Chair of Molecular Bio...

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