COVID outbreak in South Africa due to Omicron variants, experts say

COVID outbreak in South Africa due to Omicron variants, experts say

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A wave of young people COVID-19 cases threaten South Africa.

Health experts say the infections are due to two sub-variants of the micron.

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The omicron strains BA.4 and BA.5 – which appear to be very similar to the original omicron stem – make up the majority of new cases, according to Professor Marta Nunes, a researcher at Vaccine and Infectious Diseases Analytics at Chris. Hani Baragwanath Hospital.

“The majority of new cases come from these two strains. They are still small … but just genomically somewhat different,” he told the Associated Press, noting that there was a small increase in hospitalizations and “really very few deaths.”

A woman waits in line to be tested for COVID-19 at a testing center in Soweto, South Africa, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. South Africa is facing a wave of new COVID-19 cases driven by two Omicron variants. according to health experts.

A woman waits in line to be tested for COVID-19 at a testing center in Soweto, South Africa, Wednesday, May 11, 2022. South Africa is facing a wave of new COVID-19 cases driven by two Omicron variants. according to health experts.
(AP Photo / Denis Farrell)

The average number of new cases rose from about 300 a day in April to about 8,000 a day last week – although experts say the actual number of cases is much higher.

The variants appear to infect people who are immune to previous COVID-19 infections and vaccinations, and Nunes said they generally cause mild illness.

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“It seems that vaccines still protect against serious diseases,” he added.

Authorities in South Africa said in April that the rapid rise in cases was due to BA.4 and Salim Abdool Karim – a public health specialist at KwaZulu-Natal University – said it was too early to say whether the diversity would cause ” full wave. ”

The World Health Organization (WHO) said there was no evidence that BA.4 was leading to much higher rates of hospitalization or death.

A patient undergoes a nasal swab to test for COVID-19 at a testing center in Soweto, South Africa, Wednesday, May 11, 2022.

A patient undergoes a nasal swab to test for COVID-19 at a testing center in Soweto, South Africa, Wednesday, May 11, 2022.
(AP Photo / Denis Farrell)

The agency said the number of new global cases continued to decline around the world except for Of America and Africa.

“The jury is still out on how seasonal this virus will become,” WHO chief emergency officer Dr. Michael Ryan told reporters earlier this month.

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“If people are crowded in conditions where a new variant is spreading, you will see high levels of transmission,” he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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