Europe 1 with AFP 3:57 p.m., December 2, 2021

The European Union agency in charge of diseases has estimated that Omicron is likely to become majority by "the very next months".

The variant could "cause more than half of infections caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the European Union," the agency also says. 

The Omicron variant risks becoming the majority in Europe by "the very next few months" if the first trends are confirmed, said Thursday the European Union agency responsible for diseases.

According to the Stockholm-based European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), "preliminary data suggests a substantial advantage" of the new variant over the hitherto dominant Delta variant.

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More than half of contaminations in Europe

Based on these mathematical models, "Omicron could cause more than half of infections caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the European Union by" the very next few months, "the agency said in a statement. Many uncertainties still exist and the speed at which Omicron could become the majority will depend on the extent of the advantage of the new variant over the previous ones as well as the extent of Covid-19 infections, underlines the ECDC.

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A wind of panic across the world

The new variant has sent a wave of panic blowing across the world, but it's too early to say what impact it will have on the pandemic, experts agree.

Named after the Greek letter Omicron by the WHO, the variant was first reported in Botswana before being detected in South Africa, which announced it on November 25.

The day after this announcement, the new variant was classified as "worrying" by the WHO.

While many fears remain theoretical for the time being, it has a number of mutations unprecedented from a genetic point of view, including around thirty in the spike protein, the key to the entry of the virus into the body.

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