Researchers: Omicron spreading twice as fast as delta variant


SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — While this rate of transmission would characterize the omicron variant as the most contagious version of the virus, infectious disease specialist at UCSF, Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, says there’s no need to panic.

With the omicron variant now detected in at least 16 states, one of them being California, the CDC says cases are likely to continue rising.

Just this week, UCSF scientists confirmed the nation’s first omicron case — including five additional cases found in Alameda County days later.

Across seas in South Africa where the variant was first discovered, researchers are now saying that the omicron variant appears to be more contagious than the delta variant.

In a mathematical analysis, South African researchers found that omicron is spreading nearly two-and-a-half times more quickly than the delta variant.

Back here in the Bay Area, Chin-Hong says this could mean that omicron is the most contagious variant we’ve seen thus far.

South African researchers say reinfections also appear to be more common with the omicron variant.

Despite this concerning information, Chin-Hong says there is some good news.

Chin-Hong says this new information reinforces the need to get vaccinated and boosted as omicron won’t be the last variant we discover or hear about.

The omicron variant has now been reported in three California counties: one case in San Francisco, five in Alameda, and another in Los Angeles county.

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