On Thursday, one was detained Press Conference Under the auspices of the World Health Organization (WHO) to report the latest findings on the properties of the omicron variant.
There, Professor Anne von Guttberg at the South African National Institute of Infectious Diseases (NICD) They have now received indications that the omicron variable has one property in particular that does not have a beta variable and a delta variable.
– We followed the number of repeated infections in waves of infection caused by the beta variable and the delta variable. Then we didn’t see an increase compared to what we were expecting. Now, however, we see such an increase associated with the prevalence of the omicron variant, says the professor.
We believe that re-infection also does not protect against reinfection with a substituent omicron. But hopefully one will still be protected from serious illness, hospitalization, and death.
Infection and immunity
Experts from around the world discussed figures from South Africa, which indicate that the omicron variant has significantly increased dispersal. If this is the case, it may be because the variant is more contagious compared to the other variants, or because it has a greater ability to circumvent immunity, or a combination of these two factors.
Von Gottberg believes that preliminary analyzes indicate that the omicron variant has a greater ability to circumvent immunity.
– People talk about increased infection, but I think this variant can be as infectious as the delta variant. On the other hand, a larger proportion of the population appears to be susceptible to infection with this omicron variant. Immunity as a result of a previous infection protected against the delta variant, but this does not appear to be the case now.
The professor says it is difficult to say how many cases of re-infection are occurring now that the omicron variant has spread in South Africa. This is simply because it is too early, and you need more time to observe the variable. But she stresses that there appears to be more recurring infections than their models predicted.
On Wednesday, South African health authorities published a new one Status Report Which provides insight into how the omicron variant affects the spread of infection in the country.
The first case detected from Omicron in South Africa was dated 8 November. On November 23, an alarm was sounded about the surrogate.
Moreover, up to 74 percent of samples sequenced in South Africa in November are reported to be an omicron variant. Thus, the variable is dominant in the sample examined.
And the health authorities said, on Wednesday, that it had been registered 8,561 new cases of infection in the past 24 hours. On the same day the previous week, 1,275 new cases were recorded. Up to 72 percent of the new cases were recorded in Gauteng province, where the أوmicron variant appears to be the Dominate the spread of infection.
In addition, there was a significant increase in the proportion of positive samples, that is, how high the proportion of those testing themselves with positive results. From Tuesday to Wednesday, the number rose from 10.7 to 16.5 percent. This indicates that the increase in incidence cannot be explained by increased test activity.
The scale of the increase is worrying, says NICD’s Michelle Grom Watchman.
A slight progression of the disease was also observed among people diagnosed with the omicron variant. Groome stresses that it is still too early to say for sure whether the variant causes more serious disease.
Many infections occur among people in younger age groups, who are more likely to have a mild course of the disease. We have to wait and see how this variant behaves in other age groups. In addition, it takes time to develop a serious course of the disease, so we will learn more about this in the coming weeks, she says.
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