Omicron appears to be a milder version of COVID-19 than the Delta variant, a leaked British government study shows.
The UK Health Security Agency, the US equivalent of the Centers for Disease Control, found that those who get sick with Omicron are less likely to become seriously ill compared to those who get the Delta variant, according to data obtained by Politico.
The first real-world data, expected to be released before Christmas, found that Omicron is likely to cause a mild illness with less severe symptoms in most people.
It is likely due to the large number of people who have been previously vaccinated and infected, plus Omicron is naturally milder than other variants of the coronavirus.
However, the UK health agency cautioned that the data showed that Omicron’s mildness was not enough to prevent large numbers of hospitalizations.
Those who become seriously ill with Omicron are still at risk of hospitalization and death, the data found.
But the scientists also found that a booster dose of the vaccine significantly reduced the chance of developing symptoms and being hospitalized with Omicron, according to the data.
The UK health agency declined to comment on the study before publication.
It came as the British government revealed that it was reducing the COVID-19 self-isolation period from 10 to seven days for people who get a negative rapid test two days in a row.
The health agency said its analysis suggested that a seven-day isolation period along with two negative tests had almost the same protective effect as a 10-day isolation period with no tests.
“We want to reduce the disruption of COVID-19 in people’s daily lives,” said Health Secretary Sajid Javid.
U.S. federal health officials are considering loosening the CDC’s current 10-day isolation guideline for fully vaccinated people who test positive for COVID-19 but no longer have symptoms, said Tuesday. Dr. Anthony Fauci.
The recommendation comes as lawmakers promise not to repeat the kind of lockdowns they installed at the start of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, but will continue to push the 10-day window of isolation, even as it threatens to wreak havoc on the economy and lives of people. critics say.
This “one-size-fits-all 10-day period” is unnecessary for many people and “extremely disturbing,” Amesh Adalja, principal investigator at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, told The Post.
“A realistic period of isolation is one that lasts as long as the contagion lasts. It can be as short as a few days in some people and longer in others, ”he said.
The CDC revealed earlier this week that Omicron now accounts for 73 percent of new infections in the US.