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New COVID variant Omicron causes milder symptoms - expert
Omicron, the new coronavirus variant, seems to have milder symptoms and reduces the death rate to 0.1% in infected people, Konstantin Chumakov, Director of the Global Virus Network Center of Excellence, said aired by Radio Russia on Saturday.
"The illness is producing fairly milder symptoms now, and the death rates have plunged significantly. Whereas about 2% of the infected people died before, now it is around 0.1%," he said.
"I think that in a couple of months a significant part of the population will be infected with this variant," Chumakov added.
The expert pointed out that Omicron, unlike other COVID variants, affects the upper respiratory tract, without causing pneumonia.
Chumakov emphasized that any pandemic does not last longer than two or three years.
"Now due to the fact of Omicron [appearance], maybe this is just the chance that it will be over soon," he concluded.
The B.1.1.529 variant, which was named Omicron after the Greek letter, was discovered in southern Africa in 2021.
[Source: Tass, Moscow, 16Jan22]
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