LONDON (AP) — Britain's public health agency says preliminary data suggest that people with the omicron variant are between 50% and 70% less likely to need hospitalization than those with the delta strain of the coronavirus.
The U.K. Health Security Agency findings add to emerging evidence that omicron produces milder illness than other variants -- but also spreads faster and better evades vaccines.
The agency said that based on cases in the U.K., an individual with omicron is estimated to be between 31% and 45% less likely to attend a hospital emergency department compared to delta, "and 50 to 70% less likely to be admitted to hospital."
According to the agency, as of Dec. 21, 14 people out of the 132 that were admitted to U.K. hospitals with confirmed omicron had died, the Associated Press reported.
Those who died were aged between 52 and 96 years old.
It cautioned that the analysis is "preliminary and highly uncertain."
Analysis of studies from researchers at Imperial College London and Scotland found that patients with omicron were between 20% and 68% less likely to require hospital treatment than those with delta, the AP reported.