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FACT FINDERS: Omicron is less severe, but is causing spike in cases across country

Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 6:51 PM MST|Updated: Jan. 14, 2022 at 7:13 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - We have heard the omicron variant is less severe than delta.

But the question is just how mild is it.

There is a new study out from California. It looked at patients who tested positive for COVID between Nov. 30, 2021, and Jan. 1, 2022. It compared those who had delta with those who had omicron.

Dr. Joshua LaBaer from Arizona State University looked at this study. He said even adjusting for vaccination rates, it does appear omicron is less severe.

He said researchers found omicron may reduce hospitalization rates by 25% to 50%. In terms of ICU beds, omicron could mean about a 75% reduction. In terms of death, Omicron could be a 90% reduction.

However, despite evidence of omicron being milder LaBaer said it is offset by the fact that omicron is causing a huge spike.

”Anywhere between three-fold to four-fold more cases,” he said. “So, even if there is a 50% reduction in hospitalization, with four-fold more cases, there’s still going to be way more cases ending up in the hospital.”

The study has not been peer-reviewed. To take a look at the study, click HERE.

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