Covid-19: after the USA, the latest Omicron subvariant is in South Africa

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The new Omicron subvariant, XBB.1.5, which is spreading rapidly in the United States, has been caught in South Africa, but scientists in the African country officially hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic say they are not scared of the new “great wave” of contamination.

“I don’t anticipate a big wave of illnesses with hospitalizations in South Africa due to high population immunity and previous waves of Omicron variants,” the virology star said on Twitter on Friday. South African, Tulio de Oliveira, became famous for spotting the Beta and Omicron variants.

South Africa, which witnessed the first issue of Omicron at the end of 2021, has registered more than four million patients of coronavirus for more than 102,500 deaths.

The new Omicron subvariant, from the Omicron family, is the “most transmissible subvariant detected so far,” the World Health Organization (WHO) warned this week.

The subvariant was detected in the southern African country on Friday in a sample taken at the end of December, according to Tulio de Oliveira. However, no “increase in the number of cases, hospitalizations or deaths” has been observed at this stage.

Furthermore, XBB.1.5 is present in around thirty countries, particularly in Europe and the United States, where it is on the way to becoming dominant.

But according to the first data, a booster dose with a bivalent vaccine would notably make it possible to produce neutralizing antibodies, according to the WHO.

Soukaina Sghir

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