Dec 8, 2021 - Health

Nearly all U.S. cases of Omicron are mild, CDC director says

Photo of Rochelle Walensky looking to her right

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Pool via Getty Images

Of the more than 40 known cases of the Omicron variant in the U.S., nearly all are mild, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky said Wednesday in an interview with AP.

Why it matters: Concern has ramped up with health experts forecasting a rise in Omicron cases. Over three-quarters of U.S. patients had been vaccinated, and one-third had gotten their booster shots, according to Walensky.

What she's saying: "The disease is mild" in most cases so far, Walensky told AP. Coughing, congestion and fatigue make up the bulk of reported symptoms.

  • Though one person was hospitalized, there have been no deaths so far, per AP.
  • Data remains limited, but the CDC is preparing an analysis on Omicron's likely impact in the U.S., Walensky added.
  • "What we don't yet know is how transmissible it will be, how well our vaccines will work, whether it will lead to more severe disease," she told ABC's "This Week" on Sunday.

Go deeper: Omicron dashboard

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