World Health Organization

Omicron Offers Hope Pandemic Could Stabilize, W.H.O. Official Says.

“We know that increased vaccination and infection are strengthening our defenses against Covid,” Thomas Frieden, a former chief of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, wrote Monday on Twitter. “I’m more optimistic about our ability to tame the pandemic than at any point since its emergence.” “Unless, of course, a worse variant emerges, […]

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Spurred by Omicron, Europe Sets Covid Infection Records Every Day

LONDON — Across Europe, records for new coronavirus infections are being set day after day, as the Omicron variant tears through populations with a swiftness outpacing anything witnessed over the past two years of the pandemic. Like the United States, which recorded a new high in daily cases on Tuesday, European nations are struggling against […]

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Omicron Wave Heads for U.K., but It’s Not Clear How Bad It’ll Be

LONDON — With cases of the Omicron variant doubling every three days and the government doing an about-face on restrictions it had long resisted, Britain is bracing for a new coronavirus surge, unsure if it will be a relatively minor event or a return to the dark days of earlier pandemic waves. So far, the […]

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Early Omicron Reports Say Illness May Be Less Severe

JOHANNESBURG — The Covid-19 virus is spreading faster than ever in South Africa, the country’s president said Monday, an indication of how the new Omicron variant is driving the pandemic, but there are early indications that Omicron may cause less serious illness than other forms of the virus. Researchers at a major hospital complex in […]

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What We Know About the New Covid Variant, Omicron

Those mutations also raise the prospect that the variant will reduce the efficacy of monoclonal antibody treatments — a fear partly confirmed on Tuesday with Regeneron’s announcement. Still, it is worth remembering the fate of earlier variants that stirred concern: Beta and Mu, for example, evolved the ability to partially evade the body’s immune defenses, […]

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W.H.O. Scolds Rich Nations for Travel Bans and Booster Shots

LONDON — As the still-mysterious Omicron variant reached American shores, the World Health Organization on Wednesday scolded wealthy countries that imposed travel bans and dismissed those that poured resources into vaccine booster campaigns when billions in poor countries had yet to receive their first shots. The comments by W.H.O. officials reopened fraught questions of equity […]

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Omicron Variant, in 20 Nations, Spread Earlier Than Was Known

The heavily mutated new coronavirus variant was in Europe several days earlier than previously known, health officials said Tuesday, and the number of countries where it has been found increased to at least 20, raising questions about whether the pandemic is about to surge once again. The Netherlands’ National Institute for Public Health and the […]

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How 2 Flights to Europe May Have Spurred Spread of New Variant

After the emergence of the Omicron variant in Africa last week, the United States and the European Union and other nations banned flights from southern Africa. Israel and Morocco slammed their doors on the world. Australia, Japan and other countries postponed opening up and joined China, which has adopted a fortress mentality as it seeks […]

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New ‘Omicron’ Variant Stokes Concern but Vaccines May Still Work

Scientific experts at the World Health Organization warned on Friday that a new coronavirus variant discovered in southern Africa was a “variant of concern,” the most serious category the agency uses for such tracking. The designation, announced after an emergency meeting of the health body, is reserved for dangerous variants that may spread quickly, cause […]

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