Microsoft founder Bill Gates said Tuesday, Jan. 11, that the widespread Omicron strain may cause COVID-19 to decline and become a seasonal disease.
“Once a country experiences an outbreak of Omicron strain infections, within a year there will be a decline in infections and COVID-19 can be treated as a seasonal flu,” he wrote on his Twitter page.
According to him, the spread of this variant of coronavirus creates a serious burden on the health care system of the countries and most severe cases of the disease fall on people who have not been vaccinated. At the same time, the Microsoft founder stressed that thanks to Omicron, many people will develop immunity to the infection, which will last for at least a year.
He also noted that sooner or later the world will come to the point where it will be necessary to be vaccinated against coronavirus infection once a year. At the moment, according to Gates, there are no signs of a more infectious strain of COVID-19, but the possibility of its emergence should not be ruled out.
Earlier this day, Hans Kluge, head of WHO Europe, said that more than half of Europe’s population will be infected with a strain of the Omicron coronavirus in the next six to eight weeks. He added that this variant of COVID-19 is rapidly becoming dominant in Western Europe and is now spreading to the Balkans.
Data collected in recent weeks confirm that Omicron is highly transmissible because the mutations it has allow it to attach more easily to human cells and it can infect even those who have been overinfected or vaccinated.