In a study released by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, people in South Africa are 80% less likely to be hospitalized by the Omicron variant of Covid-19.
However, if admitted to the hospital, the risk of severe disease and symptoms is the same as other variants. Omicron has a 70% lower risk of severe disease compared to the delta infections between April and November.
The data is being adjusted for factors that could influence the results – age, gender, previous re-infections, etc. After admission to the hospital, they adjusted for other illnesses and immunization as well.
Paul Hunter, a professor of medicine at the U.K.’s University of East Anglia, said “So even though cases of omicron were less likely to end up in hospital than cases of delta, it is not possible to say whether this is due to inherent differences in virulence or whether this is due to higher population immunity in November compared to earlier in the year.”
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