Scientists from South Africa interpret Omicron as three times the rate to cause reinfection compared to the previous variants such as beta and delta.
The Omicron Variant Carries a Higher Risk of COVID-19
The Omicron coronavirus variant seems to be more at a higher risk of COVID-19 reinfection than the other strains of the virus. Hence, the result of the study, based on gathered information by the country’s health system that produced the first epidemiological evidence about Omicron’s mutations to evade immunity from prior infection.
Furthermore, statistical analysis was conducted using data collected in South Africa from nearly 2.8 million people who are infected with the virus and about 35,670 of which were suspected to be reinfections, researchers concluded that the omicron mutation has a “substantial ability to evade immunity from prior infection.”
Juliet Pulliam, the co-author of the study and director of the South African Centre for Epidemiological Modelling and Analysis, said in a tweet quoting “We do not have information regarding the vaccination status of individuals in our data and therefore cannot make any assessment of whether Omicron variant would also evade vaccine immunity,”.
Variant of Concern
The highly mutated variant was entitled a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organization (WHO). On Wednesday, the Omicron variant was first discovered in South Africa where it cause a new fueled surge of new infections were in more than 8,000 new cases were, up from about 4,000 the day before. Health officials said that they expect the numbers to grow exponentially.
While the Omicron is still fully unknown, researchers are hustling to determine the variant’s effect on how sick can affect a person, transmissibility, and whether vaccines currently on the market provide sufficient protection.
Anne Von Gottberg a microbiologist at South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases, states that she trust vaccines that will still protect humans against the Omicron strain. Moreover, in the skynews, she said “We believe that vaccines will still, however, protect against severe disease, because we’ve seen this decrease in protection using vaccines with the other variants, but vaccines have always a help to prevent the severity of the disease and admission into hospitals worst is death.”Furthermore, The variant has been rapidly spreading in more than 20 countries including in the U.S.