More Good News on Omicron


I think we've all seen the pictures of crowded ICU wards full of patients intubated on ventilators as doctors and nurses try to keep them alive. We saw that with the Alpha variant and the Delta variant. The Omicron variant, however, seems less lethal. Researchers think they have the answer.

In studies on mice and hamsters, Omicron produced less damaging infections, often limited largely to the upper airway: the nose, throat and windpipe. The variant did much less harm to the lungs, where previous variants would often cause scarring and serious breathing difficulty.

“It’s fair to say that the idea of a disease that manifests itself primarily in the upper respiratory system is emerging,” said Roland Eils, a computational biologist at the Berlin Institute of Health, who has studied how coronaviruses infect the airway.


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