The “omicron” variant appears to be quite mild for many, according to a new study out of South Africa. Omicron and COVID Cases in South Africa.
South Africans contracting Covid-19 in the current fourth wave of infections are 80% less likely to be hospitalized if they catch the omicron variant, compared with other strains, according to a study released by the National Institute for Communicable Diseases.
Once admitted to the hospital, the risk of severe disease doesn’t differ from other variants, the authors led by scientists Nicole Walter and Cheryl Cohen said.
Compared to delta infections in South Africa between April and November, omicron infections are associated with a 70% lower risk of severe disease, they said. The omicron data was collected for the two months through November.
Since being identified by South African scientists on Nov. 25, the omicron variant has fueled record case numbers across the country. Africa’s most developed economy has fully inoculated about 44% of its adult population over a seven-month period.
The top symptoms are similar to a cold, which isn’t particularly surprising as the coronavirus has historically been categorized as a cold virus.
Alex Berenson said Wednesday that omicron appears to have already peaked in South Africa.
The same image zoomed into just the 30 days:
“[D]eaths are approximately 1/12th what they were at previous peaks (some of those are likely from Delta, and many of the rest ‘with’ Covid deaths),” Berenson said.
“And, again, this has nothing to do with vaccines – almost three out of four South Africans is not vaccinated.”
By Chris Menahan