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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Top virologist explains reduced potency of Omicron infections

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Dr Yong Poovorawan, Thailand's top virologist, discusses Omicron infections. (via Wikimedia Kkamols)

A leading virologist and health expert in Thailand has laid out his beliefs on Omicron’s lack of potency and why it’s a step in the right direction. Dr Yong Poovorawan is the chief of the Centre of Excellence in Clinical Virology at the Faculty of Medicine of Chulalongkorn University and has been a top advisor on Covid-19 in Thailand since the pandemic began. Now he’s taken to Facebook to outline the details of how the Omicron infections result in weaker symptoms than previous variants.

With the Omicron variant spreading rapidly, daily infections have surged worldwide, but the death rate has fallen in most places. Dr Yong pointed to data in Denmark that should during the Alpha variant the country had about 3,300 infections and 30 deaths on average each day, while a year later average daily infections are up to 41,000 but deaths have fallen by more than half to just 12 on average per day.

His Facebook post on Facebook said that studies have shown that Omicron is far less potent than the Delta variant, and furthermore, most adults and even elderly people have been vaccinated now. Over 9 billion vaccines have been given worldwide and Dr Yong believes that billions of people have immunity now and that further lowers the severity of the infections people experience

He did note that some adults were experiencing stronger symptoms, depending on age, but children, who are getting infected with Omicron more than they did with other variants, are experiencing mild flu-like symptoms if any at all. And one dangerous symptom with lasting effects – lung infections – are minimised with the Omicron variant since the virus tends to infect the upper respiratory tract, not the lungs.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

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    Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10 years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

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