Expert warns of surge in Omicron infections as schools reopen

Infectious diseases expert Professor Neil Ferguson told the BBC’s Today program that reopening schools will likely lead to an increase in coronavirus infections, but they will be mild.

He said, “The Delta infections in recent months have really been driven by school age children and the older age groups of the population.

“Omicron has really slipped into the middle in 18- to 45-year-olds, but we’ve heard it hasn’t had much time to break into schoolchildren before school closes, and we’re now expecting pretty high rates of infection with mild infections.” I should stress in school age children.

“I think the good news here is that it’s certainly less severe. We think the risk is reduced by a third if you’ve never been infected before, never had a vaccine, and the risk by one for each case Third sinks. ” Hospitalization, the risk of dying from Omicron has probably decreased by two-thirds, so much less severe, and that has undoubtedly helped us. “

Professor Ferguson, who specializes in the patterns of spread of infectious diseases, told BBC Today: “I think I am cautiously optimistic that infection rates in London in this important age group of 18 to 50-year-olds who are Omicron Epidemic, may have reached a plateau, it is too early to say whether they are still falling. “

He added: “I would say that an epidemic that is spreading so quickly and reaching such high numbers cannot keep those numbers going forever in London, but a week to three weeks in other regions.

“Whether they then drop steeply or we see a pattern like the one at Delta in July – from an initial decline and then a fairly high plateau – remains to be seen, it is just too difficult to interpret the current mixing trends and what the effect of the open schools again will be.”

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