Omicron variant dominant in Vienna

Vienna during one of the country's Covid lockdowns. Photo: Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP
Vienna during one of the country's Covid lockdowns. Photo: Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP
The Covid-19 Omicron variant has been confirmed as dominant in Vienna, although frequent sequencing in the nation's capital means it is more often detected than in other states.

The new Omicron variant of Covid-19 was already dominant among newly diagnosed cases as of December 26th, city health councillor Peter Hacker has said.

That takes into account only those test samples where the person was judged to be actively infectious at the time of the sample.

On Sunday there were 522 active cases of Omicron in Vienna, almost double the figure from Tuesday last week.

Experts have been careful to point out that Omicron is likely much more widespread across the country than the figures indicate. 

On a nationwide basis, the vast majority of Omicron cases have been detected in Vienna (1,065 of 1,697), however this is at least in part due to the capital’s test and sequencing infrastructure, which is the most comprehensive in the country. 

READ MORE: What will happen with the pandemic in Austria in 2022?

Vienna’s PCR test and sequencing infrastructure is far better than that in the rest of the country, making it easier to determine how widespread a variant is. 

In Lower Austria, for example, 160 Omicron cases have been detected, while there have been 42 in Styria and 13 in Carinthia. 

The Omicron variant is known to me much more infectious than previous variants, but what is still unclear is the nature of the illness it causes, with some reports saying infected people receive a milder course of the disease. 


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