Has the omicron variant caused any fatalities?

Monday, January 10, 2022
By Lisa Freedland

Despite surging infection numbers around the globe, only a few countries so far have reported fatalities clearly attributable to the omicron variant of the coronavirus. The group includes the U.S., the U.K., Israel, India, South Africa and Australia. Most of the deceased either had other underlying health conditions or were unvaccinated, as was the case with the single confirmed U.S. fatality.

Despite being highly contagious, research suggests that omicron is leading to fewer hospitalizations and deaths than earlier variants of the virus. A study from South Africa found that fewer individuals infected with omicron required hospitalization, and that those who did experienced milder symptoms, required less supplementary oxygen and had shorter stays than patients in previous waves.

Another South African study has calculated the death rate for omicron to be 2.7%, far lower than wave one's 19.7% or Delta's 29.1%.  

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