Omicron less severe even for unvaccinated, South African study shows

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Unvaccinated individuals contaminated with the Omicron variant are less prone to fall significantly sick, require hospitalization or die in comparison with the earlier COVID-19 variants, a South African study confirmed on Friday.

The study, led by the National Institute of Communicable Diseases within the Western Cape area, in contrast 11,609 sufferers from the primary three COVID-19 waves with 5,144 sufferers from the brand new Omicron-driven wave.

It discovered that 8 p.c of sufferers had been hospitalized or died inside 14 days of testing optimistic for COVID throughout the Omicron wave — in comparison with the 16.5 p.c within the first three waves.

“After adjusting for age, sex, comorbidities and subdistrict there was a substantially reduced hazard of death in wave four compared to wave three,” the study stated.

“The extent of reduction was attenuated when additionally considering prior diagnosed infections and vaccination.”

Even after prior COVID infections had been taken into consideration, the study discovered there was roughly a 25 p.c discount in severe hospitalization or demise with Omicron than the Delta variant.

Public well being consultants have already stated Omicron seems to trigger less severe illness than different variants, together with Delta.

A resident receives a dose of COVID-19 vaccine
Only 27 p.c of South Africa’s inhabitants are totally vaccinated.
© Chen Cheng/Xinhua by way of ZUMA Press

But scientists have been making an attempt to find out whether or not the less severe signs are as a result of individuals at the moment are vaccinated or have already had COVID, or if Omicron is of course extra delicate.

The study, which is but to be peer-reviewed, discovered a few quarter of the diminished threat of severe illness with Omicron was attributable to traits of the virus itself.

“In the Omicron-driven wave, severe COVID-19 outcomes were reduced mostly due to protection conferred by prior infection and/or vaccination, but intrinsically reduced virulence may account for an approximately 25 percent reduced risk of severe hospitalization or death compared to Delta,” researchers stated.

Sandile Cele, a researcher at the Africa Health Research Institute in Durban, South Africa, works on the omicron variant of the COVID-19
The study discovered that 8 p.c of sufferers had been hospitalized or died inside 14 days of testing optimistic for COVID throughout the Omicron wave.
AP Photo/Jerome Delay

Data out of South Africa, which is the place the Omicron variant was first detected, has proven decrease hospitalization and demise charges on this newest wave.

Only 27 p.c of South Africa’s inhabitants are totally vaccinated towards COVID-19.

The South African study echoes one launched by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention earlier this week that Omicron poses a “substantially reduced risk” of great sickness in comparison with Delta.

The US-backed study discovered Omicron is greater than 90 p.c less prone to kill these contaminated with the virus.

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