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The World Health Organization warns Europe: an infectious storm is on its way

Omikron has been detected in 38 European countries and is the predominant type of virus in the United Kingdom, Denmark and Portugal.

– In a few weeks, Omicron will dominate more countries in the region, and will bring already strained hospitals closer to the breaking point, Kluge said at a press conference in Vienna on Tuesday.

Last week, 27,000 people infected with covid-19 died in Europe and 2.6 million cases were recorded. According to Kluge, there are 40 percent more cases than in the same period last year.

– He says the range of new cases of covid-19 could lead to more hospitalizations and significant disruption to care and other critical social services.

It spreads quickly

89 percent of all people with confirmed omicron infection in Europe reported symptoms similar to other variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, such as cough, runny nose and fever. The prevalence of infection was greatest in the 20-30 year age group.

Much remains unclear regarding the effects of the omicron variant, but according to Hans Kluge and several other leading infection control experts, the variant appears to be spreading at a faster rate than its predecessors. In countries where the community is widespread, the number of cases often doubled in a few days.

14 dead in the UK

French Health Minister Olivier Veran has warned that the country could soon see up to 100,000 new cases per day, and the omicron could be the dominant alternative in early January. From Wednesday, the country joins other European countries that allow the vaccination of children between the ages of 5 and 11.

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In the UK, Deputy Health Minister Gillian Keegan told Sky News that 129 people without the micron are receiving care in hospital, and 14 people with the variant have died.

The head of the World Health Organization is recommending European leaders to continue investing in vaccination, take more measures to reduce infection and prepare for socially important services such as health care for the next wave.