32% of symptomatic COVID-19 cases at Houston Methodist are from omicron

At Houston Methodist, 32 percent of all COVID-19 tests for symptomatic patients are now omicron — an increase from 13 percent four days prior, according to new data sent to Becker's in a Dec. 15 news release.

Since early December, Houston Methodist has identified 54 omicron cases through its virus genome sequencing program.

"Given the increase we are seeing in omicron, we could very possibly be at 100 percent omicron by January," said S. Wesley Long, MD, PhD, medical director of diagnostic microbiology at Houston Methodist. "That would be a faster sweep than even the delta variant, which took about a three-month span to sweep prior variants and achieve 100 percent. It is also possible that delta remains in some equilibrium with omicron over time."

Officials with the World Health Organization warned Dec. 14 that the omicron variant is spreading faster than any other COVID-19 variant.


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