Omicron variant to become ‘dominant strain’ says professor
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An omicron outbreak at an Oslo Christmas party – seen as “the biggest in the world outside of South Africa” – is only causing mild disease. Up to 120 people who attended a restaurant in Oslo on November 26th, for a party hosted by Norwegian energy company Scatec, have all tested positive for the virus. Roughly half of them screened positive for the omicron variant.
However, Oslo infectious disease doctor Tine Ravlo said that none of them are “severely ill”.
He said: “They have symptoms like fever, cough, headache, muscle pain, fatigue, but for now, none of them has become severely ill, and none of them have been treated in hospital.
“At that time, we didn’t really have that many restrictions in Oslo, so they followed the rules.
“That is the hope. That is the best scenario we can have. That it’s getting milder, most people will get it, and they will get a natural immunity.”
If that were the case, he said, it might mark the beginning of the end for the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking to the Telegraph, he added: “It might be that it has now replicated and mutated so many times that this is the optimal position from the virus’ point of view, to spread widely and not kill the hosts.
“That’s what we’ve seen with other diseases beforehand.
“And of course, then it gets into more like an endemic phase.”
“We don’t know if it will be more transmissible, but we suspect that is the case after the first investigations we have from South Africa, and also the spread we’ve from this outbreak in Oslo.”
While the party took place in a closed room, the guests were reported to have mingled with other people in the restaurant after 10:30pm, when it was changed to a nightclub.
Jorum Thaulow, Head of the infection tracking team in Oslo west, said every case was treated as though they had the Omicron variant and were told to self-isolate for seven days.
Speaking to local media, he added that close contacts of the cases were told they should quarantine for 10 days if they became infected with COVID-19.
According to a press release published by Scatec after the event, mandatory testing and vaccinations were required for employees at the Christmas party.
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