You’ve probably heard reports that Omicron COVID in South Africa has generally been causing milder forms of the disease. The caution on these reports is that they are early, anecdotal, haven’t given enough time to generate severe outcomes and have been disproportionately among the young. Each of these points remains true. But over the last couple days the data has become sufficiently detailed that it does seem like people presenting with Omicron COVID are relatively less sick than those who presented with Delta at the same point in earlier waves. So, definitely still too early to say for sure but probably too far along to dismiss it as merely anecdotal or just an artifact of distorted early data.
So doesn’t that suggest that Omicron is a milder version of COVID? Here’s why it doesn’t.