omicron: Severity Of Omicron Linked To Comorbidity, Age: Study | Kolkata News – Times of India


KOLKATA: Most of the critically ill patients in the third wave were infected with Omicron and a small percentage had the Delta variant, preliminary data of a state government study has found.
The ongoing study indicates that Omicron is mild but noted that it has been severe in some cases. The study has mentioned that Delta is still infecting people, state director of health service (DHS) Ajoy Chakraborty told TOI.

“Though most of these cases had the Omicron variant, our study points at multiple factors being responsible for those landing up in ICUs or CCUs. Most patients were elderly and suffering from comorbid conditions, being treated for various complex conditions. It wasn’t Delta that was causing all the severity or fatality. Most patients had Omicron,” Chakraborty said.
TOI had earlier reported that the state health department, in collaboration with MR Bangur, has initiated a study by sequencing genomes of patients admitted in ICUs of various hospitals. The idea was to find out if they had Omicron, known to be a mild variant.
“The study will continue in phases – its preliminary data iterates that the Omicron variant is actually milder, if we take Delta’s virulence as the benchmark,” a Swasthya Bhavan official said.
Referring to the deaths of former footballer Surajit Sengupta and legendary singer Sandhya Mukherjee, both of whom had contracted Covid, Chakraborty explained: “Omicron can turn fatal only when the patient is doing badly, like in the case of the veteran footballer. Sandhya Mukherjee, who had recovered from Covid, succumbed because her age was not on her side. These are the main factors.”
The study, in its first phase, compiled data from 70-odd patients admitted in ICUs of different state government hospitals. Fifty-nine samples were from MR Bangur, collected from elderly patients with comorbid conditions. “Around 75% of them had Omicron. The rest had Delta or Delta-plus,” DHS Chakraborty said.
The study concludes that only aged and comorbid patients were vulnerable to Omicron. “When the ICUs were still getting filled up in the third wave, it was necessary to check if Delta was still raging,” Chakraborty said.

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