- 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.

Top US Epidemiologist Fears Omicron May Overwhelm Hospitals

© REUTERS / JEENAH MOONPeople queue for a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test at a popup testing site as the Omicron coronavirus variant continues to spread in the Queens borough of New York City, U.S., December 23, 2021.
People queue for a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test at a popup testing site as the Omicron coronavirus variant continues to spread in the Queens borough of New York City, U.S., December 23, 2021.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 26.12.2021
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Chief US epidemiologist Anthony Fauci said Sunday that a wave of infections unleashed by the Omicron coronavirus variant might override benefits of a dip in its severity, eventually overwhelming hospitals.
"Even though we're pleased by the evidence from multiple countries that it looks like there is a lesser degree of severity, we've got to be careful that we don't get complacent about that. It might still lead to a lot of hospitalizations in the United States," he told ABC News.
UK data suggests that the highly mutated strain, although more contagious than Delta, causes fewer hospitalizations and shorter hospital stays, according to Fauci. The United States was reporting an average of 150,000 daily cases last week and the tally likely will go much higher, the top medical adviser to President Joe Biden said.
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