Omicron might be the worst Covid gets when it comes to transmissibility, experts predict - CNBC
Jan 20, 2022 49 secs

It's too soon to know if Covid's omicron variant will hasten the end of the nearly two-year-long Covid-19 pandemic.

Studies show that omicron is more than four times as transmissible as Covid's delta variant, and that it evades immunity better than delta.

But it's a waiting game to see if omicron will displace delta as fully as delta displaced variants like alpha, beta, and gamma, John says.

That matters: "If delta is replaced, then omicron has no 'biological need' to increase transmission efficiency," John says.

An early study from South Africa released in late December suggests that it's possible, citing patients who were found to have extra immunity against delta after recovering from omicron infections. But John says the scenario is unlikely.

In other words, Ho says, predicting whether the pandemic's severity will peak with omicron is a challenge.

— and potentially hasten the Covid pandemic's end, says expert


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