Researchers in Hong Kong studied the severity of the BA.2 variant among a small number of children who were hospitalized for the most recent COVID-19 strain. They found that children who were hospitalized with the BA.2 variant were 18 times more likely to be admitted to the ICU and seven times more likely to die compared to those hospitalized with the flu.
Initial thoughts on Omicron’s high transmissibility attributed it to higher viral loads, similar to the characteristics of the Delta variant. But the results of two studies reveal that Omicron’s transmissibility prowess is not because of a high viral load. Instead, it is due to its immune evasion. The studies point out that Omicron’s mutations have the ability to evade immunity from vaccinations or past infections.