The good news coming from data this week
Bloomberg had a good article this week outlining some of the good news surrounding the latest omicron data. There is now a strong set of data out that shows rapidly increasing omicron cases have not resulted in surging hospitalisations and deaths. This is starting to get some immunologists optimistic that the end may be in sight for the pandemic. Monica Gandhi from the University of California in San Francisco said that the, ‘virus is always going to be with us, but my hope is that this variant causes so much immunity that it will quell the pandemic’. Here A few studies to consider:
A SA study showed that patients admitted to hospital during the Omicron dominated fourth wave were 73% less likely to have severe disease.
Japan & US
A joint Japan and US study released this week have shown that mice and hamsters infected with Omicron were far less likely to die than those with previous COVID strains
This study echoed the findings above of the joint Japan and US study with Syrian hamsters
This was a study done on the tissue sample of the lungs from patients collected during surgery and the discovery was that omicron grew more slowly in those samples than other variants did.
Reasons why omicron is less deadly
According to Wendy Burgers, an immunologist from the University of Cape Town,
Firstly, the omicron virus prefers the upper respiratory trace to replicate. This means less severe lung damage
Secondly, in a recent study by Burgers et al, the bodies ‘plan B’ defence in the form of T-cells is still effective with omicron. This is different to how it has been with other variants
Reasons for optimism
The best case scenario now is that high transmissibility and mild infections stimulates strong immunity in the population. This hopes is echoed by a study in Hong Kong which showed that vaccinated patients infected with the omicron virus had a strong immune response against other Covid variants too. If this is correct and incoming data keeps confirming these initial findings then gains in the AUD, NZD, & CAD against the JPY and CHF looks likely.