Health

Omicron Death Rate Surges Infinitely As Variant Claims First Death

(Photo by Jeremy Selwyn - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Dylan Housman Healthcare Reporter
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The fatality rate of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 surged infinitely Monday when the United Kingdom reported the first known death caused by the new strain.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the death Monday after encouraging Britons to get their booster shots over the weekend, the BBC reported. British Health Secretary Sajid Javid said that Omicron now represents about 20% of cases in the United Kingdom.

There were over 54,000 new cases of COVID-19 and 38 new deaths reported in the U.K. on Monday. Every Omicron case tracked by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control so far has been asymptomatic or mild, the agency said Monday.

While scientists say Omicron is the most contagious variant yet to gain a foothold in the population, more and more evidence is emerging which suggests it is not as deadly as the Delta or Alpha strains. So far, vaccines have also held up high levels of protection against the strain, despite its many mutations on the critical spike protein. (RELATED: Philadelphia Becomes Latest City To Implement Vaccine Mandate For Indoor Activities)

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said last week that a booster dose provided the same level of protection against Omicron as two doses of his company’s vaccine did against prior variants. Aside from the one death in the U.K., there have been no other deaths reported from the Omicron strain anywhere else in the world.