Omicron cases are less severe, hospital stays shorter than delta at large California health system

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  • One study found that Kaiser Permanente Southern California patients were 74% less likely to end up in the ICU and 91% less likely to die than Delta patients.
  • None of the patients with Omicron required mechanical ventilation.
  • The length of hospital stay for patients with Omicron was also about 3 days shorter than for those with Delta.

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Patients in a large health system in Southern California who had the Omicron COVID variant were much less likely to be admitted to hospital, intensive care, or die from the virus than those infected with the Delta strain, a study this week found. found.

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Infectious disease experts found that Omicron patients at Kaiser Permanente Southern California were 74% less likely to end up in the ICU and 91% less likely to die than Delta patients. The study found that none of the patients with Omicron required mechanical ventilation.

Omicron patients had a 52% lower risk of hospitalization compared to Delta, according to the study, which has not yet been reviewed. Researchers are publishing studies before they are reviewed by other experts because of the urgency of the pandemic.

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The length of hospital stay for patients with Omicron was also about 3 days shorter than for those with Delta. According to statistics, unvaccinated patients were less likely to develop serious disease.

“The reduction in disease severity associated with Omicron-type infections was evident in both vaccinated and unvaccinated patients, and in those with or without previously documented SARS-CoV-2 infection,” the team of researchers found.

Kaiser Permanente Southern California provides care to more than 4.7 million people. The study analyzed more than 52,000 Omicron cases and nearly 17,000 Delta cases.

The large US study adds to a growing body of real-world data from the United Kingdom and South Africa showing that the Omicron variant, while more contagious, does not make people as sick as the delta version.

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However, World Health Organization officials emphasized that omicron, although generally less severe than delta, still poses a threat to the lives of the unvaccinated, the elderly, and people with underlying health conditions.

“We can say with certainty that an omicron type causes on average less severe disease in any given human being – but that is on average,” Dr. Mike Ryan, head of the WHO’s health emergencies program, said in a Q&A livestream on Tuesday. said during Social media channels of WHO.

“Hundreds of thousands of people around the world are in hospital as we speak with the Omicron version, and for them it is a very serious illness,” Ryan said. He Warned That Omicron Still made up An “enormous threat” to the lives and health of unvaccinated people, prompting them to get shots so they have protection as the variety spreads rapidly.

Maria van Kerkhove, the WHO’s COVID-19 technical lead, said a small proportion of people are dying from omicrons, but the variant still poses a serious risk to the elderly and people with underlying conditions.

Van Kerkhove said on Tuesday, “We know that the death rate with omicrons increases with increasing age.” “We also have data from some countries showing that people with at least one underlying condition are at increased risk of hospitalization and death, even if you have Omicron, compared to Delta.”

Dr. Rochelle Valensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the US is reporting an average of 1,600 Covid deaths per day, a 40% increase over the past week. However, Valensky told reporters during a White House COVID briefing that those deaths were likely due to the delta variant, as reporting of new fatalities generally outweighs new infections.

The US on Monday recorded a pandemic record of nearly 1.5 million new Covid infections, with an average of about 750,000 new infections every day over the past week, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. This compares with a seven-day average of about 252,000 new cases a day a year ago.

Hospitalizations are even higher than last winter’s peak – before the widespread distribution of vaccines – and continues to rise. According to data tracked by the Department of Health and Human Services, more than 152,000 people in the US were hospitalized with Covid as of Wednesday, an 18% increase from the previous week.

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