Most Read
Image 01 Image 02 Image 03

Will Omicron Variant Turn Out To Be Less Deadly Than Seasonal Flu?

Will Omicron Variant Turn Out To Be Less Deadly Than Seasonal Flu?

Meanwhile, former Biden advisors publish ‘endemic COVID’ policies in JAMA.

While the United States is dealing with its Omicron variant surge, the United Kingdom had its wave hit several weeks earlier.

Scientists and public health officials are reviewing the numbers, and it appears the variant may be less deadly than seasonal flu.

Some experts have always maintained that the coronavirus would eventually morph into a seasonal cold-like virus as the world develops immunity through vaccines and natural infection. But the emergence of the highly-mutated Omicron variant appears to have sped the process up.

MailOnline analysis shows Covid killed one in 33 people who tested positive at the peak of the devastating second wave last January, compared to just one in 670 now. But experts believe the figure could be even lower because of Omicron.

The case fatality rate — the proportion of confirmed infections that end in death — for seasonal influenza is 0.1, the equivalent of one in 1,000.

One former Government adviser today said if the trend continues to drop then ‘we should be asking whether we are justified in having any measures we would not bring for a bad flu season’. But other experts say coronavirus is much more transmissible than flu, meaning it will inevitably cause more deaths.

Meanwhile, researchers at Washington University modelling the next stage of the pandemic expect Omicron to kill up to 99 per cent fewer people than Delta, in another hint it could be less deadly than flu.

Data on current U.S. cases suggest a similar trend: Many cases but substantially fewer fatalities.

On Monday, more than 1 million new cases were reported in a single day – including some cases from holiday backlogs.

The current national case rate is more than twice as high as the rate reported in January 2021, during the U.S.’s last record-breaking surge.

Yet so far, hospitalization and death numbers have remained lower than last winter – both nationally and in many states and cities.

About 85,000 Covid patients are currently hospitalized in America’s hospitals, compared to a peak of 124,000 during last winter’s surge, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Each day in the past week, about 1,300 Americans died of Covid.

While this is still a high number, it’s about half of the death rate at this time last year – over 2,600 Covid deaths per day.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may be trying to get ahead of the real science at this point. She predicts a steep decline in cases, similar to what has occurred in South Africa.

The rise and fall of Covid diagnoses has historically been shown as “waves,” but Walensky suggested the omicron surge in the U.S. may be visualized more as an “ice pick,” with a dramatic rise and fall in cases similar to South Africa, which has passed its omicron surge.

“I do think in places that we are seeing this really steep incline, that we may well see also a precipitous decline,” Walensky said during the briefing.

If this is the case, expect a victory lap by Team Biden and claims of mandate success by politicians and bureaucrats who reimposed mask mandates and other COVID restrictions.

Meanwhile, several experts have published a series of articles in the Journal of the American Medical Association outlining new policies around an endemic COVID. Several of these authors have previously advised Joe Biden.

[The former advisors] include Michael Osterholm, an epidemiologist who runs the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota; Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the vice provost for global initiatives at the University of Pennsylvania; and Dr. Rick Bright, a former government official who is running a pandemic prevention program at the Rockefeller Foundation.

They argue that the goal is not to eradicate SARS-CoV-2 but to live with it — and other viruses.

“Without a strategic plan for the ‘new normal’ with endemic COVID-19, more people in the U.S. will unnecessarily experience morbidity and mortality, health inequities will widen, and trillions will be lost from the U.S. economy,” they wrote. “This time, the nation must learn and prepare effectively for the future.”

Their proposals include reliance on testing, vaccine boosters, and N95s . . . none of which have controlled the waves nor supplant the need for better and more accessible therapeutics. Perhaps instead of vaccines, Big Pharma should develop and market a good OTC COVID medicine.

However, it is a sign that Biden may be persuaded to surrender again. This time, to reality.

DONATE

Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.

Comments

I have just one question:
are any (COVID) statistics (of Government origin) valid?
(can they be employed for international comparison/research?)

    henrybowman in reply to paracelsus. | January 9, 2022 at 5:00 pm

    Not if you go by the record.

    “Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may be trying to get ahead of the real science at this point.”

    A truly scary metaphor, indeed, if you consider what a crap job she has done in the past two years of merely following where the “real science” should have led her.

    Barry in reply to paracelsus. | January 9, 2022 at 6:15 pm

    No.
    Nothing, not one damn thing the government says is true, about anything.

    No flu for a season? Maybe that’s because the flu tests as fauci/china/scam/virus.

    healthguyfsu in reply to paracelsus. | January 9, 2022 at 8:10 pm

    They can be but keep in mind that the US obesity rate is nearly double that of the worldwide average.

      The “worldwide average” includes people that are starving, a lot of them.

      Doesn’t make us any less fat as a country. The consequences of wealth.

    SeiteiSouther in reply to paracelsus. | January 10, 2022 at 11:20 am

    Why haven’t we thrown a politician into a volcano to appease the virus yet?

Covid deaths are already poised for a steep decline as more and more states begin separating hospitalization DUE to Covid as opposed to those WITH Covid. That could eliminate practically all of the hospitalizations due to Omicron where few to no one is being referred to hospitals.

Several factors at play here. Omicron seems to be crowding out other strains which is a good thing. Probably still some lag in hospitalization for remaining delta strain. However, the key point is who should expect serious outcomes from any strain? The frail elderly, the obese and the immune compromised. Those groups are also at risk for severe outcomes from the flu. We don’t impose lockdown, testing regimes, mask requirements or vax mandates for the flu. Nor should we. Get ready to aggressively beat back attempts from pharma, public health officials and some politicians to enshrine the past two years of Covid mania policies as a prudent doctrine to protect people.

The risk averse Karen doesn’t care about liberty. Pharma puts profits first. Public health officials want their 15 minutes to continue indefinitely. Most importantly, authoritarian politicians will not be inclined to let go of the ’emergency’ and the power it grants. We must make every effort to elect liberty minded people to our State Legislature to begin rolling back the ability of our leaders to invoke an emergency. Then we must severely curtail the duration allowed and the scope of the power.

So, we are still NOT making the distinction between “of Covid” and “with Covid”?
Or is that distinction made only when convenient?

But I have other questions, better questions IMHO:

How do they know it’s Omicron? How can they tell it’s not “Delta” or just the flu? What test are they using that is so precise?

    Colonel Travis in reply to Exiliado. | January 9, 2022 at 3:44 pm

    Labs sequence the genomes from positive samples, that’s how they determine variants. Same thing they do to find different flu strains. Genomes tells us whether it’s the flu or a coronavirus or any other kind of virus. Lot of people doing this around the clock all over the planet.

    henrybowman in reply to Exiliado. | January 9, 2022 at 5:01 pm

    They check the serial numbers against the lists they get from Wuhan.
    Ban ghost viruses!

“are any (COVID) statistics (of Government origin) valid?”
****
Some may be but US CDC and Public health has become so politicized, who knows. That may be the worst and lasting result of COVID; loss of trust in CDC/Public Health and perhaps US medicine in general.

I think the best available data come out of Israel; excellent data collection, less politicized(?) and 3-4 months ahead with regard to vaccine results or lack of results. Some British NHS data seem pretty good, also.

Even if Covid mutates into something far less severe than the sniffles, there are elements of society which will never give up their claw-like grip on power. This is a danger to us all, because we NEED to have a reliable and strong response to pandemics such as polio, smallpox, etc… These short-sighted idiots are willing to do anything to remain in control, and that will cripple our response to the inevitable real disasters waiting to happen. When this happens, the power-mad idiots who fought so hard to be in control will let the world burn rather than admit they need to work as a *group* with people they dislike.

God help us.

paracelsus: I have just one question:
are any (COVID) statistics (of Government origin) valid?

The COVID death count is reasonably consistent with the statistics of excess deaths. Note that waves of COVID deaths coincide with waves of excess deaths.
https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid19/excess_deaths.htm

Additional evidence is that we can look at subsets of the data, at state and county levels, as well as data from other countries. The data are all consistent with a high mortality rate from COVID.

CommoChief: However, the key point is who should expect serious outcomes from any strain? The frail elderly, the obese and the immune compromised.

About 40% of Americans are obese, 16% over 65, and 3% immunocompromised. Then there are diabetics at 10%, and hypertension at 33%. There’s some overlap, of course, but 40% represents a floor. Some people end up with serious cases of COVID even if they are not in a high risk group.

CommoChief: Those groups are also at risk for severe outcomes from the flu. We don’t impose lockdown, testing regimes, mask requirements or vax mandates for the flu.

No, but COVID has been much, much more dangerous than the seasonal flu. About 36,000 (12,000 – 52,000) Americans die per year from seasonal influenza. More than 20 times that many have died of COVID. The current death rate in the U.S. is about 1,500 per day.

Exiliado: How do they know it’s Omicron? How can they tell it’s not “Delta” or just the flu? What test are they using that is so precise?

Most tests just determine whether the virus is COVID or not. There is a separate test for influenza. The strain is determined by whole-genome sequencing, which is currently showing a prevalence of Omicron.

“Endemic covid” will be the code words used to justify permanent masking, and vax mandates in schools will pretty much force them on the entire population.

You did notice that Senile Joe didn’t rescind any Federal covid mandate after he said there’s no Federal solution to covid? I’m not flying anywhere until I’m allowed to breathe in airports and airplanes. They still haven’t walked back talk of extending the vax mandate to domestic flights.

I get pissed off every time I visit a doctor because of the damn useless masks, they’re just about the only places requiring them in Florida.

    Barry in reply to randian. | January 9, 2022 at 6:46 pm

    “every time I visit a doctor”

    Doctors are some of the dumbest educated people on the planet. Some are just corrupt and know the mask doesn’t work, but many appear to be stupid enough to believe any and all BS that comes from the government.

      healthguyfsu in reply to Barry. | January 9, 2022 at 8:15 pm

      Or their minds are crowded with everything they do in their specialty and don’t have time to analyze other peripherals.

      Busy minds do this all time in STEM….farm some work out to others that you think you can trust when you don’t have the time to work it out yourself.

        That’s just an excuse – too busy to be intelligent?

        Good one. All doctors were aware that masks were useful against the spread of bacteria and useless against the spread of airborne virus.

        The fauci/china/scam virus didn’t change that. So, corrupt or stupid. Take your choice, or choose both.

“Big Pharma should develop and market a good OTC COVID medicine”

I think there are several that already exist. We should ask India how they curtailed their massive wave of COVID so quickly – it wasn’t with vaccines.

Do we know if anyone in the US has died FROM Omicron? The first case in Texas turned out to be a died WITH Omicron, which prompted people to assert that Alec Baldwin had still killed more Americans than Omicron.

“But other experts say coronavirus is much more transmissible than flu, meaning it will inevitably cause more deaths.”

While this is technically true, it’s also a ploy to maintain the influence and power of panic porn.

These people aren’t stupid and should know better than to act like parameters such as case-fatality rate don’t have transmissibility influences on their numbers and aren’t subject to wane over time.

For ultra low mortality diseases like these respiratory viruses, transmissibility is a very large factor in CFR because they are able to more readily spread to the vulnerable. That said, transmissibility rates can pop like a bubble and reach a lower equilibrium as more swaths of people get exposures and immunize the herd. This has happened in the history of both the flu and other coronaviruses with or without vaccines.

The vaccines are still valuable for two reasons:
1. macro: mitigating resource stresses on the population
2. micro: reducing case severity risk in individuals (particularly those at risk)

But as I’ve always said, they shouldn’t be mandated.

    I appreciate the fact you are against mandates.

    “1. macro: mitigating resource stresses on the population
    2. micro: reducing case severity risk in individuals (particularly those at risk)”

    I dispute both of these assertions. The shot is not a vaccination.

    1. It likely causes the immune system to fail, creating resource stress.
    2. There is no data to support your assertion. None.