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In SA, Omicron is less dangerous than previous variants, new ...


In SA, Omicron is less dangerous than previous variants, new research finds

The study comes as the UK removes 11 countries, including SA, from its travel red list

Senior features writer

South Africans infected with the Omicron variant since late November seem to be developing symptoms more quickly — if they show any — and recovering faster, said SA Medical Research Council (SAMRC) president Prof Glenda Gray on Tuesday.

“There seems to be a very short incubation period and quick recovery, but we would have to do the studies and follow up with people longitudinally to know how long they shed the virus after being symptomatic,” she said. This influences the length of isolation or quarantine needed.

She was speaking at a Discovery Health briefing about a real-world study (https://www.discovery.co.za/corporate/news-room#/documents/press-release-dot-pdf-417948) it led, in collaboration with the SAMRC, which found the risk of hospitalisation was reduced by nearly a third from Omicron-driven infections compared with previous variants. However, the risk of reinfection caused by this variant went up significantly...

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