Omicron through the two ends of a telescope

Compare the takes on omicron from two different financial news sources.

First, CNBC's Morning Squawk daily email, December 23, 2021:

'Hospitals across the nation are preparing for another wave of Covid that could rival the early days of the pandemic as the highly mutated and contagious omicron variant rages. In fact, the director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation told USA Today that new modeling shows the U.S. could see about 140 million new cases from January to March.

Peak new daily infections are projected to reach about 2.8 million late next month, according to the IHME, with less than 15% expected to be captured by testing. The U.S. has a total of 51.5 million reported Covid cases since the virus arrived in America. Reported cases topped 300,000 in early January of this year.

Oooh, scary!

Now the Wall Street Journal:

New data from Scotland and South Africa suggest people infected with the Omicron variant of coronavirus are at markedly lower risk of hospitalization than those who contracted earlier versions of the virus, promising signs that immunity as a result of vaccination or prior infection remains effective at warding off severe illness with the fast-spreading strain. (snip)

The University of Edinburgh study, drawing on the health records of 5.4 million people in Scotland, found the risk of hospitalization with Covid-19 was two-thirds lower with Omicron than with Delta. The new variant became dominant in Scotland last week.

separate study published online by researchers at South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases similarly found people infected with Omicron were 70% to 80% less likely to need hospital treatment than people infected with earlier variants, including Delta.

Still scared?

Hat tip: Richard Baehr.

Photo credit: Victor Bezrukov, CC BY 2.0 license.

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