Two years and over 5.5 million deaths later, COVID-19 continues to pose a major challenge to global public health. The highest number of weekly cases reported during the pandemic, to date, was in the first week of 2022. This number is an underestimate because overburdened surveillance systems result in missed cases and positive self-tests often go unreported. The World Health Organization attributes the spike in numbers to Omicron, the fifth known variant of concern, which has fast taken over Delta as the dominant variant globally.
There is much to be understood about Omicron, including its impact on our immunity and what it might mean for vaccines. But there is already a lot of speculation and misinformation about the new variant. Meanwhile, new data is emerging at a rapid pace. We need to interpret the data in context to report accurately on what makes Omicron unique, how fast it spreads, how severely it affects health and how people can protect themselves better against illness.
This downloadable PDF resource, available in eight languages, includes the following sections:
1. Reporting on the genomics of Omicron
2. When and how did Omicron arise and how fast does it spread?
3.Reporting on immunity and vaccination
4.Reporting on illness caused by Omicron