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More than half of Europeans reached by Omicron within two months

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The European branch of the World Health Organization estimated on Tuesday that more than 50% of Europeans could be affected by Omicron within two months, because of the current rate of contamination. The “unprecedented” scale of transmission has led to an increase in hospitalizations, but the death rate remains stable, said the director of WHO Europe

Worried about the “tidal wave” of Omicron, the European branch of the World Health Organization estimated on Tuesday that more than 50% of Europeans could be affected by Omicron within two months, because of the current rate of contamination.

A variant that “adheres more easily to human cells”

“At this rate, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) predicts that more than 50% of the region’s population will be infected with Omicron in the next six to eight weeks,” the WHO Europe director said. , Hans Kluge, in an online press conference. The mutations presented by this variant “allow it to adhere more easily to human cells, and can infect even people who have been previously infected or vaccinated”, he added.

A stable mortality rate

The region, which has 53 countries and stretches into Central Asia, recorded more than 7 million new cases of Covid-19 in the first week of 2022. In addition, according to WHO data, since on January 10, 26 countries reported that more than 1% of their population tested positive for Covid-19 every week. For Hans Kluge, the “unprecedented” scale of transmission has led to an increase in hospitalizations, the mortality rate remaining stable.

The wave “challenges health systems and service delivery in many countries where Omicron has spread at high speed, and threatens to spill over into many others,” he said.

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