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Fewer Deaths Associated with Omicron than Delta

Most of the COVID-related deaths at the National University Hospital during the current wave of the pandemic have been due to the delta variant, RÚV reports.

Over the course of last year and the first 20 days of January, there have been twelve COVID-related deaths at the hospital. Of those, three individuals had the omicron variant. Two of those patients were men, one was a woman; all three were in their 90s and none had been admitted to intensive care. Another patient who died within this time frame had omicron as well as another illness, the latter of which had caused the person to be admitted to the hospital in the first place.

Per the press conference that Civil Defense held on Friday, upwards of 90% of the daily COVID infections in Iceland are omicron infections. Proportionally, however, fewer of these infected individuals require hospitalization than people who have been infected with the delta variant. According to data shared by the hospital, once omicron became the dominant variant, the percentage of people aged 50-74 who need to be admitted to the hospital following infection dropped from 6-8% to less than 1%.

Patients who fall ill with omicron tend to have milder symptoms and less serious lung infections than those who get delta and are less likely to require intensive care or respirators. At time of writing, no children had been admitted to the hospital due to omicron, but children now make up as much as half of existing infections.

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