Spread of the Omicron mutation in European and other countries

To date, 79 infections with the new Omicron coronavirus strain in Europe have been confirmed. However, so far not a single case of severe course has been recorded, according to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

All carriers of the new variant have mild symptoms or no complaints at all. Omicron is recorded in 15 European countries, including: Austria (4), Czech Republic (1), Belgium (3), France (2), Denmark (6), Iceland (1), Germany (10), Greece (1), Italy (9), Ireland (1), Portugal (14), Netherlands (16), Spain (3), Norway (4), Sweden (4).

Most infections are associated with travel to South Africa, with many returning with transplants to other countries. Several EU countries reported non-travel related cases – UK, Germany and Belgium.

The ECDC notes that all reported cases of the Omicron strain were asymptomatic or mild, and no deaths were reported.

A total of 390 cases of Omicron were recorded in 31 countries of the world. Outside the European Union, these are 16 countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Great Britain, the United States and others. ECDC Director Andrea Amon says:

“We continue to monitor and evaluate the spread of Omicron, but there are still a large number of factors that could change the dynamics of the situation, and data that we still have limited. A tiered approach is needed to delay further expansion of Omicron into the EU / EEA. It is necessary to vaccinate those who have not yet been vaccinated or have not yet completed vaccination, as well as provide increasing doses to people over 40 years old.

Variant transmission data from South Africa is worrying, the ECDC notes. This option can have a significant distribution advantage over Delta. If that happens, Omicron will cause more than half of all SARS-CoV-2 infections in the EU / EEA in the coming months.

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