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According to the first large-scale study published on the long-term risks of omicron, the omicron variant is less likely to develop long-term COVID than the delta.
Studies show that nearly 5% of people who take omicron still experience fatigue, dizziness, headaches, heart disease, or other health problems for at least a month after infection.
While some researchers find the results convincing, others say the results are alarming, given that so many people have been caught and vaccinated against the micron.
“It’s scary,” Dr. says. Akiko Iwasaki, an immunobiologist at Yale School of Medicine, said he had studied COVID for a long time but was not involved in the new study.
“People think, ‘You can infect,’ you know, because the omicron is soft,” Iwasaki said.
The results were announced on Thursday The LancetResearchers from King’s College London observed thousands of people who tested positive for coronavirus to determine the long-term risk of COVID from a variety of options.
“The main question we are trying to answer is,‘ Did the Delta-era COVID last long … [as it is] during the micron period? ”says Dr. Claire Steve, who assisted in the study. “” What are the risks of prolonged COVID withdrawal, given the variety of options? “
Researchers have compared 56,003 microns since December. From March 20, 2021 to March 9, 2022, 41,361 people held the delta from June 1 to November 2021. 27, 2021, and monitored their symptoms through a special app.
Researchers found that a month later, dementia patients were two and a half times more likely to have health problems.
“Fortunately, with the omicron variant, the risk of prolonged COVID is significantly reduced compared to the delta variant,” Steve told the NPR. “That’s great news, isn’t it?”
This is particularly good news because the micron is so contagious that it has infected many people with incredible speed. If the risk was the same or higher than the delta, the number of people ending in long-term COVID would explode.
The results are in line with a small analysis recently released by the British government.
But a reduced risk doesn’t mean people shouldn’t worry about COVID for long, because Steve and others agree. According to research, the probability of obtaining long-term COVID from omicron is 4.4%, and from the delta almost 10.8%.
“The caveat is that the omicron variant has spread very quickly in our populations, so more people have been affected. So the total number of people who can get long-term COVID will unfortunately rise,” Steve said. This is not the time to cut COVID services. “
However, for each individual, the findings show that the risk of severe illness and the onset of persistent symptoms is drastically lower.
The study did not address why omicrons may pose a lower risk for long-lasting COVID. However, Steves and others argue that omicron is less likely to cause persistent symptoms because it can cause delta pain.
“Because of the less severe nature of the disease, and also because it’s a little superficial in terms of the disease … it affects us less in terms of the severity of our immune response,” Steve said. “So this leads to a lower probability of long-term COVID.”
Other researchers say that these findings need to be confirmed by additional studies.
“They simply looked at the person who reported any symptoms through this app. They did not evaluate these patients at any clinic and did not collect objective data about them,” the doctor said. Michael Sneller has been studying COVID for a long time at the National Institutes of Health.
However, Sneller said it is not surprising if the omicron is less likely to develop long-lasting COVID, as it causes less severe disease.
Some researchers hope that the findings will correct the misconception that people do not need to worry about long-term COVID.
“We’re saying, you know,‘ You can take off your masks on planes. You do not need to be vaccinated to enter the restaurant. All of these political decisions increase the risk of people becoming infected with COVID, and there is a 5% chance of contracting a serious chronic illness, ”he said. David Putrino treats chronic COVID on Mount Sinai in New York. “It creates short-sightedness and long-term disability, it wasn’t needed.”