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Denmark expects omicron to cross delta this week.

People queue to get tested for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a pop-up testing site in New York City, U.S., December 14, 2021.

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

Denmark hopes the Covid-19 omicron variant will cross the delta within a week because of the number of cases of the new strain doubles every two days, according to the Statens Serum Institut in Copenhagen, which conducts infectious disease surveillance for the Scandinavian nation.

Troels Lillebaek, chairman of the Danish Covid variant review committee, told CNBC on Tuesday that omicrons now represent at least 10% of Covid cases in sequence, a rapid increase from late November when Not a single omicron case has been sequenced in Denmark.

Lillebaek, director of one of the Statens monitoring laboratories and a professor at the University of Copenhagen. “And within a week, omicron will take over and become the dominant variant in Denmark.”

Lillebaek said 75% of the country’s omicron patients were fully immunized with the two-dose vaccine, while 9% of omicron-positive patients received a booster dose.

“We believe what we are seeing in Denmark is not a particularly Danish phenomenon,” said Lillebaek.

The rapid spread of omicrons in Denmark, where 80% of the population is fully immunized, is an ominous sign for the United States, where only 61% of the population is fully immunized and tens of millions of people live. Haven’t had a single shot yet. James Lawler, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, said the US has only weeks to act to stem the wave of omicron infections.

“We’re going to be in trouble,” Lawler told CNBC on Monday. “We’ve got the full delta. What we’re probably going to get is a trio of delta whales, omicrons and seasonal flu.”

Scientists and public health officials are still studying whether omicrons cause milder or more severe disease than delta. To date, about 99% of omicron patients in Denmark have not been hospitalized, according to Statens Serum Institut figures. However, the number of people hospitalized is expected to soar during the holidays.

According to Lillebaek, Denmark, in the worst case scenario, is expected to have 500 new Covid hospital admissions a day by Christmas in the country of 5.9 million people, according to Lillebaek. As of Wednesday, there were a total of 508 people hospitalized with Covid across the country, according to Danish government data.

“There will be a lot [hospital] “There will always be a vulnerable segment of the population,” said Lillebaek. Some receive chemotherapy, some have immunodeficiency, perhaps biologic treatment for rheumatism. “

The World Health Organization on Tuesday warned countries against dismissing omicrons as a mild variant. Omicron is spreading faster than any other virus strain before, according to WHO.

While the US has not yet experienced an explosion of omicron cases like in Denmark, this variant is rapidly gaining ground across the US. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday reported that omicrons represent 2.9% of Covid cases in sequence last week, up from 0.4% the previous week. Delta accounts for about 97% of Covid cases in sequence, according to the CDC.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said Wednesday that omicrons may represent 13% of cases in states like New York and New Jersey.

“Unless it’s significantly milder and less likely to cause you to be hospitalized, it’s very likely just causing such a large number of infections that you’ll see enough hospitalizations to stress it out,” says Lawler. significantly strain or even overwork the health system”.

Lawler said that the United States cannot eliminate transmission of the virus, but there are measures the country can take to limit hospitalizations. That includes vaccinating everyone in the country over the age of 5 and ensuring that everyone who is eligible for a booster gets a shot.

Pfizer and BioNTech released preliminary data last week showing that omicrons significantly reduced the two-dose vaccine’s ability to prevent infection. However, two doses can still prevent severe illness, the companies say. Enhanced shot provides substantial protection against infection, according to laboratory data.

Lawler said mitigation measures such as wearing masks in indoor public places and limiting indoor gatherings and close contact can also help stem the tide. “You know, there’s an old saying – ‘hope is not a plan.’ It’s correct?” Lawler said.

However, the re-imposition of mitigation measures in the US has been politically controversial. While New York and California reintroduced the mask quest, Texas and Florida banned local authorities and school boards from implementing them. Colorado Governor Jared Polis on Friday declared the “state of emergency over” and said masked missions were no longer necessary due to the widespread availability of a vaccine.

At the federal level, President Joe Biden’s vaccine requirement for federal contractor and private enterprise currently blocked by federal courts. President lockdown excluded, relying instead on vaccinations and extensive testing this winter.

On the other hand, Denmark has take some measures to stop the wave of infection. The national government is encouraging people to work from home and primary school children will attend classes through most of January 4. Masks are required in most indoor public spaces. Nightclubs close while bars, restaurants and cafes close at midnight. People are required to present a Covid card, proving they have been immunized, have recently tested negative, or have recovered from a previous infection, in order to enter many businesses.

The UK has also sounded the alarm, raising Vivid threat assessment to level 4 on Sunday, one notch below the highest alert. On Monday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said omicrons caused many people to be hospitalized and confirmed the UK’s first case of death from the variant. He warned that Britain faces a “tide wave” of omicron infections.

UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid told the BBC on Monday that omicrons were spreading at an “extraordinary” rate with the number of cases doubling every few days. Britain is urging people to work from home, making face masks mandatory in most indoor public spaces and asking for proof of two doses of the vaccine before entering nightclubs and major events.

CDC Director Rochelle Walenksy said she doesn’t believe the US will follow the same timeline as the UK. above omicrons. “I don’t expect it to be the same time as the UK and we’re continuing to monitor cases and we’ll be looking at that carefully,” she said in a White House update on Friday.

However, Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, told CNBC last week that omicrons will soon overtake the plains in the US.

“It’s only a matter of time before omicrons become the dominant variant here, and I think that could happen relatively quickly,” Osterholm told CNBC last week.

Dr Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO’s health emergencies programme, on Tuesday said countries need to start preparing their health care systems for omicrons now. He said governments should ensure their health systems have enough staff, sorting equipment and oxygen supplies in place.

“The health system is weaker now than it was a year ago,” Ryan said. “Unfortunately, sometimes you can get up after the first punch, but it’s very difficult to get up after the second.”

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/12/16/covid-news-denmark-expects-omicron-to-overtake-delta-this-week-.html Denmark expects omicron to cross delta this week.

Sunbiz

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