MISE & Agrave; DAY
JOHANNESBURG | Antibodies from a first COVID-19 infection do not prevent one from catching the disease again with the Omicron variant, a researcher said Thursday during a press briefing from the Africa regional office of the World Organization health (WHO).
Last week, South African researchers announced that they had detected a new variant of COVID-19, creating a phenomenon of global panic. & nbsp;
From Many unknowns still hover over this form of the coronavirus which has 32 mutations, in particular its potential for spread and its resistance to vaccines. & nbsp;
“We believe that a previous infection does not protect against Omicron,” said Anne von Gottberg, infectious disease specialist at the South African National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD).
The research is starting but according to the first observations, people who are already infected may have been infected with the mutant form of the virus, often with less severe symptoms, the scientist said. & nbsp;
Vaccines, however, should remain effective against severe forms of the disease, she believes. & Nbsp;
The variant, present to date in at least 22 countries according to the WHO, has been detected in four African countries: Ghana, Nigeria, Botswana and South Africa. & nbsp;
The number of official COVID-19 cases has increased by 54% on the continent in the last seven days compared to the previous days, due to the exponential rise in contaminations in South Africa, which are expected to exceed 10,000 cases in the next 24 hours, according to WHO Africa. & nbsp;
Two weeks ago, South Africa was reporting some 300 cases per day. The country reported 8,561 new cases on Wednesday, up from 4,373 the day before.
At this point, “we don't know where the variant comes from,” WHO expert Ambrose Talisuna said. . After announcing the detection of the new variant, named after Omicron, South Africa and its neighbors were penalized by sudden travel bans in many countries. & Nbsp;
The WHO reiterated its call to lift these “unfair” restrictions which have no scientific justification. & nbsp;