Prestigious Bambino Gesu hospital in Rome has produced the first “image” of Omicron.
“The first photo of the #OmicronVariant (B.1.1.529), SARS-CoV-2 Variant of Concern, at the Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital in Rome,” tweeted Dimitrios Varvaras, Oncoplastic, and Reconstructive Breast Surgeon Director One-Stop Breast Center – Tiberia Hospital GVM Care & Research EUASSO General Secretary
The WHO in an update said it is not yet clear whether Omicron is more transmissible (e.g., more easily spread from person to person) compared to other variants, including Delta.
“It is not yet clear whether infection with Omicron causes more severe disease compared to infections with other variants, including Delta,” the WHO said.
The WHO also said there is currently no information to suggest that symptoms associated with Omicron are different from those from other variants.
But preliminary evidence, WHO said, “suggests there may be an increased risk of reinfection with Omicron (ie, people who have previously had COVID-19 could become reinfected more easily with Omicron), as compared to other variants of concern, but the information is limited. More information on this will become available in the coming days and weeks.”
WHO said it is working with technical partners to understand the potential impact of this variant on our existing countermeasures, including vaccines. “Vaccines remain critical to reducing severe disease and death, including against the dominant circulating variant, Delta. Current vaccines remain effective against severe disease and death,” it added.
The widely used PCR tests, WHO said, continue to detect infection, including infection with Omicron, as we have seen with other variants as well. “Studies are ongoing to determine whether there is any impact on other types of tests, including rapid antigen detection tests.”