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Fauci warns Omicron variant case count could ‘change rapidly’ amid global spread
Dr. Anthony Fauci predicted Tuesday that the global case tally for Omicron will "change rapidly" as it spreads around the world.
Dr. Anthony Fauci predicted Tuesday that the global case tally for Omicron will “change rapidly” as it spreads around the world.
The White House chief medical adviser said at a briefing that the latest COVID-19 variant has already proven it spreads at a fast pace by sweeping all of the provinces in South Africa, where it was first detected by scientists last week before popping up elsewhere.
“Confirmed cases as of yesterday were 205 in 18 countries, and just this morning, that’s gone up to 226 in 20 countries — and I think you’re going to expect to see those numbers change rapidly,” Fauci said.
But the top doc stressed that it will be weeks before more is known about the variant, which has around 50 mutations, most of which are in its spike protein, the part of the virus that binds to human cells.
In terms of immunity provided by the current COVID-19 vaccines against the variant, Fauci said it is “reasonable” to expect that the current shots will still provide some degree of protection.