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Omicron variant three times more likely to cause reinfection – Study

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THE risk of reinfection from Omicron coronavirus variant is three times higher than it was for any previous strain.

  According to a South African study of infections since the start of the pandemic, conducted in South African Centre for Epidemiological Modelling and Analysis and Harry Moultrie of the National Center for Communicable Diseases, this is predicated on finding or evidence of omicron’s “ability to evade immunity from prior infection.”

  Leader of the study, Juliet Pulliam, explained that the study was based on data collected through South Africa’s health system on about 2.8 million confirmed coronavirus infections between March 2020 and Nov 27.

According to an emailed statement by the authors, of those2.8 million, 35,670 were suspected reinfections.

  “Our most urgent priority now is to quantify the extent of omicron’s immune escape for both natural and vaccine-derived immunity, as well as its transmissibility relative to other variants and impact on disease severity,” they wrote.

  That strain has rapidly taken hold in Africa’s most-industrialized nation. New cases exceeded 11,000 on Thursday, compared with 585 two weeks ago, according to government data. In Gauteng, the nation’s richest province and its Covid-19 epicentre, each infected person on average is able to pass on the virus to another 2.33, according to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases.

The beta or delta variants spread “primarily from increased transmissibility, rather than immune escape,” according to the research paper, which has not been peer reviewed.

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