The Omicron variant of the corona virus could dominate the United States in the coming weeks, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said Wednesday.
Although the delta still causes epidemics on the continent, current trends make Omigran the dominant variant of the region.
World Health Organization (WHO) Director Carissa Etienne told a virtual press conference.
According to the PAHO, the number of corona virus infections recorded on the continent nearly doubled on January 8: 3.4 million cases were reported on January 1, up from 6.1 million a week later.
The number of cases in the review period was 250 percent higher than the same period last year, when 2.4 million infections were reported. In the first week of the year, the number of deaths caused by the virus increased by 31 percent over the previous week.
It was pointed out, however, that although increasing infections put more pressure on health care systems, the vaccine did not lead to an increase in Govt-19-related deaths.
This variation has so far been detected in 42 of the 56 countries and territories in the region.
Most infections are reported from the United States, and the number of cases has increased in Canada as well. Within the Caribbean, the situation is worse in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, and in South America, the number of reported cases is higher in Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil.
Research shows that Omigrans can affect people who are vaccinated and occasionally infected. However, many studies suggest that this variant may cause less severe symptoms than delta mutation, and that vaccine and booster vaccine provide consistently stronger protection.
Nevertheless, the PAHO warned that Omigron was still vulnerable to unvaccinated and weakened immune systems, and urged that vaccination campaigns continue.
Although nearly 60 percent of the population in South America and the Caribbean is fully vaccinated, in about 10 countries, that rate has not yet reached the 40 percent target set by the World Health Organization (WHO) by the end of 2021.