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You are here News Of Special Interest World reacts to omicron much faster than previous variants; it could be in US undetected, experts say

World reacts to omicron much faster than previous variants; it could be in US undetected, experts say

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WHO

Within days of its discovery, fears over the omicron COVID-19 variant have spread across the globe, sending stocks tumbling, prompting travel restrictions and drawing international attention to an uptick in cases in South Africa.

The reaction is happening weeks faster than the world’s sluggish response to the delta variant. By the time delta was named a "variant of concern" by the World Health Organization in May 2021, it had already spread in India for months and had been seeded across the globe.

In contrast, omicron was first reported to the WHO on Tuesday as COVID cases in South Africa have suddenly spiked to thousands per day. By Friday, it had been named and labeled a "variant of concern," the most serious type.

Experts have applauded the WHO for moving quickly to sound the alarm on omicron, and South Africa for its fast, transparent reporting on the variant.

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