Covid: and what if the Omicron variant was to end the epidemic?

Published by Laurent P. · Published on 4 January 2022 at 16h17
And what if Omicron was able to end the pandemic? This is what suggests virologist Yves Van Laethem, stating its high contagiousness and its weakened virulence might enable not-vaccinated people to be “immunized in a benign fashion”.

Could the Covid Omicron variant stop the pandemic? In all likelihood, it can… Anyway, this is what suggest Yves Van Laethem, infectious disease specialist and specialist in internal medicine at the Saint-Pierre university hospital, and interfederal spokesman for the fight against coronavirus in Belgium.

According to the scientist who relies on the first observations from the Association for South African Doctors, people catching the strain are said not to suffer from severe disease. A weaker virulence, lower than the Delta variant, and higher contagiousness enabling to eradicate the disease… Or at least transform it into a mild disease: “a less virulent variant would replace the other and enable non-vaccinated people to get immunized in a benign fashion”, the virologist explains this November to our Belgian peers from La DH, adding “a cold with 99.86°F fever is less problematic”.

The theory makes sense and tends to be confirmed, although data for Omicron remain not enough. Higher contagiousness has been confirmed by the WHO that claimed: “It is likely that Omicron will outpace the Delta variant where community transmission occurs”. They added this Monday December 13 during a brief this strain is now found in 63 countries and keeps spreading on great scale.

As for its dangerousness, the first elements seem to show only “light to mild” symptoms in South Africa – where it first broke out – as well as in Europe, where it spreads very swiftly. The only flaw, its suspected resistance to vaccine, but according to laboratories’ latest data, a third dose seems to boost protection against the variant up to the same level as the previous strains.

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