LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 23: Ambulance crew move patients into the Royal London Hospital on December 23, 2021 in London, England. A study released yesterday by Imperial College London showed that people with confirmed infections of the Covid-19 Omicron variant are 40-45 percent less likely to spend a night or more in hospital, compared with the virus's Delta variant. Other early studies show Omicron is milder for most people than Delta, but UK authorities warn the data is still preliminary. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
By LAURA UNGAR and MIKE STOBBE, AP Medical Writers
Two new British studies provide some early hints that the omicron variant of the coronavirus may be milder than delta.
Scientists stress that even if the findings of these early studies hold up, any reductions in severity need to be weighed against the fact omicron spreads much faster than delta and is more able to evade vaccines.
Sheer numbers of infections could still overwhelm hospitals.
Still, the new studies released Wednesday seem to bolster earlier research that suggests omicron may not be as harmful as the delta variant.
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