Authors of HCPDS working paper warn against underestimating severity of latest COVID-19 variant, Omicron

Omicron variant

Epidemiologist William Hanage, PhD, and infectious disease specialist Roby P. Bhattacharyya, MD, PhD, have authored an HCPDS working paper (Vol. 21, No. 10) in which they caution against inferring intrinsic traits (particularly, severity) from population-level observations, such as what has been observed in South Africa. Vaccination and immunity from prior infections, for example, complicate comparisons between the population-level infection-fatality rate (IFR) of Omicron versus earlier waves (e.g., the Delta variant).