Covid Scotland: Most people will come into contact with Omicron unless 'living the life of a hermit' says Edinburgh University professor

Eleanor Riley, a professor of immunology and infectious disease, said Omicron is spreading so fast that people are “very likely” to meet someone infected with the Covid-19 variant unless they are “living the life of a hermit”.

The University of Edinburgh academic also warned “a lot of people” could still end up in hospital even if the coronavirus mutation proves to provoke milder symptoms than the Delta variant.

Prof Riley told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “Omicron is spreading so quickly that, I think, unless you are living the life of a hermit, you are very likely to come across it in the next few weeks.

“I don’t think anyone should be going around thinking they are not going to catch it, I think that situation has changed.”

Advertisement

Hide Ad

Read More

Read More
Covid Scotland: Calls for financial support amid ‘avalanche of cancellations’ fo...

She added: “There is a huge ‘if’ about this, ‘is it milder?’. I think it is very dangerous to compare data from South Africa, say, to the UK.

“Even if it is milder and, therefore, a smaller proportion of infected people end up in hospital, given that so many people are going to come across this virus, even a small proportion of a lot of people is a lot of people in hospital.”

On Friday Nicola Sturgeon warned that a “Tsunami of infections” was coming as the new variant takes hold in the UK.

Advertisement

Hide Ad
Covid Scotland: Most people will come into contact with Omicron unless 'living the life of a hermit' says Edinburgh University professor

The First Minister advised that Christmas parties should be postponed in a bid to reduce the spread, and issued new guidance stating that all home contacts of a positive case should isolate for 10 days, regardless of vaccination status or initial negative PCR result.

A message from the Editor:Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.

 0 comments

Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.