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The Omicron version of the coronavirus is spreading twice as fast as the delta version and three times as likely to re-infect people who have already recovered from Covid-19, according to a pair of preliminary studies out of South Africa this week. can.

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Initial statistics Nine South African provinces show that the Omicron variant is more than twice as high as the delta variant, according to data from the South African COVID-19 Modeling Consortium shared on Twitter by London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine mathematical modeler Carl Pearson on Friday. has spread rapidly, although the data has not been peer-reviewed or published in a scientific journal.

Pearson told new York Times The researchers aren’t sure whether the accelerated spread of the Omicron variant is primarily due to its infectivity or ability to evade the immune system, “making it possible that it may be less transmissible than Delta.”

South African researchers on Thursday also estimated the likelihood of re-infecting people who have recovered from Covid infections compared to previous variants, citing a large increase in the rate of coronavirus reinfection during the country’s most recent wave. at least three times more, according to a non-peer-reviewed preprint Article,

The Omicron variant accounted for 73% of all sequenced genomes from positive COVID-19 tests in South Africa in the month of November, According are sent to the country’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases, although only a small fraction of the samples tested are sequenced each week.

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