The Omicron variant is proving to be more and more dangerous. The risk of reinfection with the new strain is three times higher than with any previous variant, according to a South African infection study.
The discovery provides evidence for the “Ability of omicron to evade immunity from previous infection“, According to the authors, Juliet Pulliam of the South African Center for Epidemiological Modeling and Analysis and Harry Moultrie of the National Center for Communicable Diseases.
The study was based on data collected through the South African health system on around 2.8 million confirmed coronavirus infections between March 2020 and November 27, the authors wrote in a statement. Of these, 35,670 were suspected re-infections.
“Our most urgent priority now is to quantify the extent of omicron’s immune evasion for natural and vaccine-derived immunity, as well as its transmissibility relative to other variants and its impact on the severity of the disease. sickness “, they wrote.
“The Omicron variant is associated with a substantial ability to evade immunity from prior infection”, concludes the study, made available on Thursday on the medRxiv pre-publication site, but which has not yet been peer-reviewed.
“We do not have information on the vaccination status of individuals in our data, and therefore we cannot draw any conclusions about Omicron’s ability to evade vaccine-induced immunity.”Juliet Pulliam, of Stellenbosch University in South Africa, and lead author of the study, warned on Twitter.
South Africa announced the discovery of a new variant, later named omicron, on November 25 as cases began to increase and the strain spread across the world. Domestic daily cases nearly doubled on Wednesday, days after countries around the world, including Morocco, halted flights to and from southern Africa.