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Omicron COVID Variant May Cause Less Damage To Lungs Than Delta, Researchers Say

BOSTON (CBS) -- While the Omicron variant is considerably more contagious than prior variants, it may cause less damage to the lungs.

COVID-19 symptoms typically begin in the upper airways with a runny nose and sore throat. In some people, the virus attacks the lower airways, causing pneumonia and inflammation of the lungs.

But researchers at the University of Hong Kong found that while the Omicron variant replicated 70 times faster than the Delta variant, it was less efficient at replicating, specifically in lung tissue.

This finding is consistent with mounting evidence that people infected with the Omicron variant are less likely to need hospitalization or ventilator support compared to those with the Delta variant.

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