An Israeli hospital confirmed the first known death in the country on Tuesday, which was believed to be caused by Omicron, the latest variant of SARS-CoV-2 that has brought back 2020-like restrictions around the world. With Israel, there are now three countries that have reported fatalities from Omicron, the variant that is spreading faster than Delta but appears to cause milder illness.
Omicron Cases In Israel
The patient was a male in his sixties with a number of serious pre-existing diseases, according to the Israeli hospital where his death was reported. “His morbidity stemmed mainly from pre-existing sicknesses and not from respiratory infection arising from the coronavirus,” the hospital said.
Omicron Deaths in US
On Monday, the first Omicron death in the United States registered. The patient was between 50 years to 60 years and was thought to be unvaccinated.
Positive Cases for Omicron Variant in United Kingdom
The United Kingdom reported that 12 people were infected with the Omicron variant and died in the country. The new type is spreading quicker in the UK, and the number of hospitalizations is also increasing. New covid-19 restrictions are also on the way ahead of the New Year’s holidays.
On November 24, South Africa announced the first case of Omicron. Within a few weeks, the variant had spread to the greatest number of countries. According to experts, this Omicron variant is spreading quicker than Delta, which triggered the Coronavirus second wave, but it is not causing severe illness. Almost majority Omicron cases worldwide have minor symptoms. The virus is also not impacting the lungs, as experts believe the variant is growing in the throat, causing scratchy throat as a symptom. For weeks, no one had died as a result of Omicron.
The deaths recorded from these three nations indicate that adults over the age of 50 with comorbidities are at a higher risk, though data on all cases are unknown. Even more if they have not been vaccinated. While Omicron is known to be capable of evading immunity, doctors believe that current vaccines can still protect against the severity of Covid-19 caused by Omicron — to a level.
According to Reuters, World Health Organization officials say the Omicron variant of COVID-19 is rapidly transmitting than previous Delta strain.