Fauci Says Early Reports ‘Encouraging’ About Omicron Variant

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Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

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Pool / AFP via Getty Images

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President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser said early signs about the seriousness of the new Omicron coronavirus variant are “encouraging”.

Dr. Anthony Fauci said that although it is too early to draw any conclusions, preliminary reports suggest that the Omicron strain may result in a less severe COVID infection than the delta variant that is now dominant in the US.

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So far, it doesn’t seem like there’s much seriousness to it, Fauci said in an interview. CNN’sstate of the Union.,

“But we have to be really careful before we make any determination whether it’s less severe or that it doesn’t actually cause any more serious illness than Delta,” he said.

First detected in South Africa last month, the Omicron strain has stirred markets and caused widespread alarm among governments, who fear another surge of infections in the winter months. A small study of people hospitalized in South Africa suggested that stress appears to be the cause. minor ailments Compared to the earlier Covid-19 waves.

Vaccine maker Moderna (ticker: mRNA) has said that the company is currently working on an Omicron-specific booster If there is a need, and it may be ready by early next year.

The head of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Sunday that the Omicron variant has been detected in about 16 US states so far, but the delta variant remains the majority of COVID-19 cases nationwide.

CDC Director Dr. “We have about 90 to 100,000 cases in the United States right now, and 99.9% of those are the delta variant,” said Rochelle Valensky. ABC News in an interview.

She also said that the US is “hearing about more and more possible cases so that numbers are likely to rise.”

Fauci also said that the US is re-evaluating its travel ban on a group of southern African countries, and expects it to be lifted “within a fairly reasonable time” as more information is gathered about the Omicron version. Is. The White House imposed travel restrictions on eight African countries more than a week ago.

“When the ban was imposed, we were given time to find out what was happening. Now, as you mentioned, as we’re getting more and more information about cases in our country and around the world, we’re watching this very carefully on a daily basis,” Fauci said CNN,

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