“There is a possibility that really, we’re going to be seeing a serious doubling or tripling of the cases as we move along or as the week unfolds,” Nicksy Gumede-Moeletsi, PhD, a regional virologist for the World Health Organization,“There is a possibility that we are going to see a vast increase in the number of cases being identified in South Africa,” she said.
In early November, the country reported 200 to 300 new cases per day and had a 1% positivity rate. But cases began to increase quickly in mid-November, and Wednesday’s positivity rate reached 16.5%, the AP reported. South Africa was the first country to detect the new Omicron variant and report it to the WHO. The country’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases said Wednesday that 74% of the virus genomes sequenced in November have been of the new variant, the BBC reported., a global database for genomic sequencing. The latest countries to confirm their first cases include the U.S., India, and Ghana.
Hospitalizations are increasing in South Africa but not at the rate of the new cases. So far, hospital admissions are following the same trend as previous COVID-19 surges in the country, according to an analysisScientists have expressed concerns about the large number of mutations on the Omicron variant, though they can’t quite say whether the variant is more transmissible, causes more severe COVID-19, or evades.
“The world is watching South Africa,” Deenan Pillay, PhD, a professor of virology at University College London, told the“There are a lot of things we don’t know about Omicron,” he said. “Real world clinical data from South Africa will provide us with some of the first answers.”The Associated Press: “South Africa’s new COVID cases double in 1 day amid omicron.”: “‘The world is watching South Africa’: health experts sift Omicron clues.
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FEAR! FEAR! Gotta stir up that fear!! Never mind that the doctor who identified this specifically said that it was notable not only in its transmission ability, but also in its mildness, the most concerning symptom being a mild cough.. But fear!
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