As the super contagious Omicron variant of the coronavirus spreads across the country, more and more hospitals are seeing a growing trend: Patients admitted for other ailments are also testing positive for Covid-19. Doctors say it may mean more people are asymptomatic or have yet to be diagnosed with the virus than the current data show. And now a new hybrid is potentially poised to make another deadly sweep around the world.
A hybrid strain of Covid-19 that combines delta and omicron was found in Cyprus and dubbed “Deltacron.” At least 25 cases have already been detected, but its pathology remains unknown and is still being tested.
It’s not the kind of news anyone wants to hear as the planet enters its third year of the pandemic amid record cases. But health experts say the emerging trend of patients admitted to the hospital with Covid along with other ailments — instead of just for Covid alone — may actually be a good sign, as it supports growing evidence that Omicron, already the dominant strain in the United States, is less likely to cause severe illness than earlier variants were, especially in people who are fully vaccinated and boosted.
What’s that hybrid coming on?
Could it be a mutation from strains gone by?
And didja hear Fauci say
“Go & get your shot today
So no more Americans have to die” 🎶#GetVaccinated pic.twitter.com/xxVWEARd5z
— Tara Dublin, Untapped Writing Goldmine #SignTara (@taradublinrocks) January 9, 2022
Similar to previous Covid surges, patients infected with the Omicron strain of the virus are quickly filling up hospital beds, overwhelming staff, and causing delays in elective procedures. Not as many of them will suffer from struggling to breathe and needing supplemental oxygen, among other conditions, say health experts. But doctors also still must be careful not to dismiss patients who test positive for Covid but are not presenting the more obvious symptoms because the virus could be exacerbating an underlying medical condition.
— Outspoken (@Out5p0ken) January 9, 2022
It also complicates how Covid hospitalizations are viewed in the U.S., health experts say. Hospitalizations may become a less reliable gauge of the pandemic’s toll going forward as home tests become more readily available and fewer people report cases.
It’s too soon to predict the full impact Omicron could have on deaths and illness across the U.S.
But data in some of the earliest-hit cities is beginning to show what the future could hold. Here's what it shows. https://t.co/v3mJZ63Gji
— The New York Times (@nytimes) January 9, 2022
The United States is expected to see just under 100,000 COVID deaths in the month of January, the CDC predicted.