- Sputnik International, 1920
Omicron COVID Strain
The new COVID variant was initially detected in South Africa and Botswana and sparked major concerns due to its high number of mutations (32). The WHO dubbed the strain Omicron and warned it may prove to be more transmissible and dangerous than other coronavirus variants.

Omicron Likely to Become Dominant Strain in Europe at Beginning of 2022

© REUTERS / DADO RUVICA vial and a syringe are seen in front of a displayed stock graph and words "Omicron SARS-CoV-2" in this illustration taken, November 27, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration
A vial and a syringe are seen in front of a displayed stock graph and words Omicron SARS-CoV-2 in this illustration taken, November 27, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration - Sputnik International, 1920, 15.12.2021
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control predicted on Wednesday that Omicron would likely overtake Delta to become the dominant coronavirus strain in Europe in early 2022.
The highly-mutated strain was labeled a "variant of concern" late in November by the World Health Organization and was soon spreading across the world.
"The Omicron VOC is likely to become the dominant variant in the EU/EEA within the first two months of 2022," a ECDC rapid risk assessment read.
The ECDC said it did not have enough data to assess the severity of the disease caused by Omicron, but if it is equal to or weaker than that of Delta, its increased transmissibility would cause an exponential growth of cases that would rapidly outweigh any benefits of a potentially reduced severity.
European Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides tweeted that Europeans "cannot throw caution to the wind" as they prepare for the festive winter season.
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