FACT CHECK: Has There Only Been One Omicron Variant Death Worldwide?

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

A post shared on Twitter claims only one person in the world has died from the omicron variant of coronavirus.

Verdict: False

There has been more than one death from the omicron variant worldwide. For instance, the U.K. has recorded at least 14 deaths attributed to omicron, while the U.S. and Germany have also respectively reported at least one death due to the variant.

Fact Check:

The Dec. 20 tweet, which has garnered over 600 likes, reads, “Only one person has died worldwide (with) Omicron… in case you were wondering.” The omicron variant, which the World Health Organization designated a “variant of concern” in late November, has been detected in over 90 countries, according to The New York Times. (RELATED: Did The World Economic Forum Report On The Omicron Variant In July?)

Contrary to the tweet’s claim, there has been more than one COVID-19 death in the world attributed to the omicron variant. The U.K. reported its first death with the omicron variant Dec. 13, according to BBC News. More recently, the U.K. Health Security Agency’s “omicron daily overview” report for Dec. 20 said 14 people had died from the omicron variant.

Health officials in Harris County, Texas, announced in a Dec. 20 press release that the county’s first omicron death was a man in his 50s who was unvaccinated and had previously contracted COVID-19. Germany also recently reported its first death due to omicron, with German health authorities saying Thursday that a German person between the ages of 60 and 79 had died from it, Deutsche Welle reported.

The omicron variant was first reported by South African scientists in November, and the country became one of the early epicenters for infections of that variant, according to Fortune. The province where the cities of Pretoria and Johannesburg are located has found that about 90 percent of its COVID-19 cases are from the omicron variant, The Associated Press reported. The country has so far reported over 700 COVID-19 deaths since Dec. 1.

Two pre-print studies indicated that hospitalization was less likely to occur in individuals with the omicron variant than those with the delta variant, according to BBC News. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website states “more data are needed to know if Omicron infections, and especially reinfections and breakthrough infections in people who are fully vaccinated, cause more severe illness or death than infection with other variants.”

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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