What are the chances of going to hospital with Omicron in the UK? – Daily Mail

January 16, 2022

By Stephen Adams, Medical Editor For The Mail On Sunday


Only 85 people have been admitted to hospital with Omicron so far – about one thousandth of the total number identified with the variant.
Yesterday the number of genetically confirmed cases jumped by about 10,000 to just under 25,000. 
But the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) is also recording the number of likely cases. These jumped by about 23,000 to just under 77,000. 
It means the number of cases identified by Government labs is likely to be approaching six figures.
However, the agency says that the number of people admitted to hospital in England with Omicron grew by just 20 yesterday, from 65 to 85.
Experts stress that hospitalisations tend to lag cases by a week or two, as it takes time for serious illness to develop after infection.

Government advisers fear that the big rise in cases will feed through to more admissions and deaths in the coming weeks.
However, the optimistic early picture appears to chime with new data from South Africa.
It shows that the death rate of those so far hospitalised in Pretoria with Omicron has been less than half that of those in the previous wave, caused by the Delta variant.
South African medical leaders have also said that Omicron is mainly causing mild disease – although this might be in part because most of the country’s young population has either been vaccinated or infected with Covid before.
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Overall, while the Omicron variant has resulted in cases spiking this week – exceeding 90,000 a day for the last two days – daily hospitalisations and deaths remain relatively flat.
Yesterday in the UK, 900 people were admitted to hospital with Covid, not much higher than the 865 daily average for the past seven days.
There were 125 Covid-related deaths, just above the 112 daily average for the past week. In total there have been seven Omicron-related deaths. 
While there were large ‘excess death’ peaks caused by Covid during the first wave in spring 2020, and last winter, that has not been the case so far this winter.
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