That would imply treating the virus as an "endemic illness", rather than a pandemic.

That would imply treating the virus as an "endemic illness", rather than a pandemic.


The Omicron variant of COVID-19 is on track to infect more than half of Europeans, but it should not yet be seen as a flu-like endemic illness, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday.

Europe saw more than 7 million newly-reported cases in the first week of 2022, more than doubling over a two-week period, WHO's Europe director Hans Kluge told a news briefing.

"At this rate, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation forecasts that more than 50% of the population in the region will be infected with Omicron in the next 6-8 weeks," Kluge said, referring to a research centre at the University of Washington.

Fifty out of 53 countries in Europe and central Asia have logged cases of the more infectious variant, Kluge said.

Evidence, however, is emerging that Omicron is affecting the upper respiratory tract more than the lungs, causing milder symptoms than previous variants.

But the WHO has cautioned more studies are still needed to prove this.
On Monday, Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said it may be time to change how it tracks COVID-19's evolution to instead use a method similar to flu, because its lethality has fallen.

That would imply treating the virus as an endemic illness, rather than a pandemic, without recording every case and without testing all people presenting symptoms.

But that is "a way off", WHO's senior emergency officer for Europe, Catherine Smallwood, said at the briefing, adding that endemicity requires a stable and predictable transmission.
"We still have a huge amount of uncertainty and a virus that is evolving quite quickly, imposing new challenges. We are certainly not at the point where we are able to call it endemic," Smallwood said.

"It may become endemic in due course, but pinning that down to 2022 is a little bit difficult at this stage."


To be able to write a comment, you have to be registered and be logged in.

* Mandatory fields

Juan / Hace 10 days

Rich- Getting vaccinated would make it more so.


Rich / Hace 12 days

Hold on a mo, this is when Fauci and the boss of Pfizer say it's equivalent to a common I guess we shouldn't treat like's milder.


Mark / Hace 12 days

The biggest economic beneficiary of all this Covid misery by far is mainly China and the biggest funder and influencer of the WHO guessed it: China. I.e. the WHO will not recognise Taiwan as an independent state. Makes u wonder, doesn't it.


Adam / Hace 12 days

The Government just told the PEOPLE that they should treat it like a Normal COLD !


Peter / Hace 13 days

Sail, really, the WHO in Bill Gates pocket for what? What a dumb thing to believe.


Jerry / Hace 13 days

Yes, we should stay in constant anxiety. Glad the WHO was able to turn around a glimmer of hope quickly :-/


Sail / Hace 13 days

scaremongering can't let this virus show stop must keep it going, when every country now has proof that moronic variant is wiping out the virus.. CDC stated 0 deaths from omicron that's right 0 = deaths but the WHO funded by the only Gates to keep the narrative going. covid is past us and it is winter.. time to move on, concentrate on life, family and the Economy before we see a worse state of affairs but the destruction this has caused hasn't been fully seen yet!! watch this space. this has been a great shameful stain on humanity