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WHO sees more evidence that omicron causes milder symptoms


At its Geneva headquarters, a sign from the World Health Organization.

Fabrice Coffrini – Getty Images| Getty Images

There is more evidence that the variant of omicron coronavirus is affecting the upper respiratory system, with milder symptoms, according to a World Health Organization official on Tuesday.

There are more and better studies showing that Omicrons infect the upper half of the body. This could lead to severe pneumonia, unlike the others,” Abdi Mahamud, WHO Incident Manager, told Geneva-based journalists. He said it was “good news”.

He added, however, that omicron’s transmissibility makes it very easy to become dominant in many areas. This poses a danger in countries with high unvaccinated populations.

His comments on severe diseases are in line with other data such as a South African study that found omicron.

Mahamud did sound a warning note, however, and called South Africa “outlier”, citing its young population, among other things.

Mahamud was asked if an omicron-specific vaccination was necessary, but he said that it was premature to answer. He also stressed the need for global coordination. The decision should not be made by the private sector.