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Previous Covid infection does NOT protect against the Omicron variant as it did with Delta

A previous COVID-19 infection might not supply safety against the Omicron variant as it did with the Delta variant.

Dr Anne Von Gottberg, a microbiologist from South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases, mentioned at a information briefing organized by the World Health Organization on Thursday that the nation is seeing a rise in breakthrough infections.

‘Previous infection used to protect against Delta, however now with Omicron that does not appear to be the case,’ she mentioned.

‘We monitored these reinfection for the Beta [variant] and for the Delta wave, and we did not see a rise in reinfections over and above what we count on when the drive of infection adjustments, when the wave stops. 

‘However we’re seeing a rise for Omicron.’ 

Dr Anne Von Gottberg, a microbiologist from South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases, mentioned on Thursday (above) {that a} earlier COVID-19 infection might not protect against the Omicron variant 

It comes as COVID-19 cases in South Africa have risen dramatically from 500 per day two weeks ago to 11,535 per day on Thursday

It comes as COVID-19 instances in South Africa have risen dramatically from 500 per day two weeks in the past to 11,535 per day on Thursday

Von Gottberg did not specify the rate of Omicron reinfections in comparison with the rate of Delta reinfections, simply the rate was greater for the new variant. 

But she did add {that a} previous infection ought to nonetheless protect against extreme illness, hospitalization and loss of life from a brand new infection.

The Omicron variant was first recognized by South African researchers final week and is believed to have originated in Botswana or in Europe.

It has 50 mutations, greater than 30 of that are on the spike protein, utilized by the coronavirus to enter and infect cells.

By comparability, the Delta variant – nonetheless the predominant variant in the U.S. – has seven mutations on the spike protein. 

Early proof suggests it is extra transmissible than earlier variants however it is unclear if it causes extra extreme sickness or loss of life.

Nearly 400 instances have been detected in 32 nations, together with the U.S., the UK and Canada.

In South Africa, instances have risen dramatically from 500 per day two weeks in the past to 11,535 per day on Thursday. 

Additionally, the share of assessments coming again constructive rose from 16.5 p.c on Wednesday to 22.5 p.c. 

Hospitalizations have additionally risen it with 1,172 South Africans admitted to private and non-private hospitals in comparison with 1,250 individuals hospitalized in the first 4 days of this week alone.

Von Gottberg said the rate of reinfection linked to the Omicron variant is higher than that linked to the Delta variant. Pictured: A throat swab is taken from a patient to test for COVID-19 at a facility in Soweto, South Africa, December 2

Von Gottberg mentioned the rate of reinfection linked to the Omicron variant is greater than that linked to the Delta variant. Pictured: A throat swab is taken from a affected person to check for COVID-19 at a facility in Soweto, South Africa, December 2

The percentage of COVID-19 tests coming back positive rose from 16.5% on Wednesday to 22.5% on Thursday as cases increase among every province

The share of COVID-19 assessments coming again constructive rose from 16.5% on Wednesday to 22.5% on Thursday as instances enhance amongst each province

Last week, 1,172 South Africans were admitted to public and private hospitals compared to 1,250 people hospitalized with the virus in the first four days of this week alone

Last week, 1,172 South Africans have been admitted to private and non-private hospitals in comparison with 1,250 individuals hospitalized with the virus in the first 4 days of this week alone

‘We consider that the numbers of instances will enhance exponentially in all provinces all through the nation,’ Von Gottberg mentioned 

‘In all of our provinces, we’re seeing a rise in the share testing constructive of all SARS-CoV-2 assessments being finished, and we predict that the variety of instances goes to extend in these provinces.’

A small handful of constructive samples are presently being genetically sequenced.

However, Von Gottberg mentioned that of 249 samples that underwent genetic sequencing in November, 183 samples – practically 75 p.c – have been linked to the Omicron variant, 

‘It does appear like there was a predominance of Omicron all through the nation,’ she mentioned.

‘And Omicron has been recognized by sequencing in at the very least 5 of our provinces [that are] sequencing knowledge.’  

The largest Omicron variant outbreak in the world up to now has been linked to a Christmas occasion held final month.

More than 100 staff of Scatec – renewable power methods company – traveled from Norway to Cape Town, South Africa, for a Christmas occasion.

Upon return, between 50 and 60 of them examined constructive for Covid, with at the very least one being a confirmed case of the Omicron variant.

It is feared that the majority, if not all, of the instances will revealed to be linked to the variant as soon as they bear genetic sequencing. 

All attendees of the Cape Town journey have been absolutely vaccinated, in line with Scatec, and none of the contaminated have suffered a critical sickness up to now.

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