We were honored to have our working paper series provide a platform for this time-sensitive article by Roby P. Bhattacharyya, MD, PhD, and William P. Hanage, PhD, on the challenges in inferring the severity of the omicron variant that is now published as a Perspective in The New England Journal of Medicine. Learn more in this press release by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
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).