The micron variant of Covid-19 cause a less serious illness that delta varianteven in those who are not vaccinated or have not had a previous infection, according to a study from the Western Cape Province in South Africa.
The research compared 11,609 patients from the first three waves of pandemic, the most recent of which was caused by the delta variant, and 5144 patients from the last wave driven by micron.
The results add to growing evidence that although ms infectious, micron can be less virulent than some of its predecessors. The data from South Africa, the first country to experience a major outbreak caused by the strain, have so far shown lower hospitalization and mortality rates.
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Still, with more than a quarter of the population vaccinated Y a prior infection rate of between 70% and 80%, there is concern that this may be concealing or masking the danger posed by the variant.
“Ours is the first study conducted in a setting of prior high seroprevalence to demonstrate a less disease severity in the fourth wave after adjusting for both vaccination and previously diagnosed infectionthe researchers note in the study. “Even after accounting for this protection, there was a likely reduction in more severe outcomes in the fourth wave,” indicating a possible reduction in micron virulencethey said.
The study, published this week and not yet peer-reviewed, focused on public hospitals in the province, where Cape Town. It was led by Mary Ann-Davies, Associate Professor at the University of Cape Town.
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I discovered that he 8% of people were hospitalized or died within 14 days of diagnosis Covid-19 on the micron wave, compared to the 16.5% of the three previous waves.
“After adjusting for age, sex, comorbidities, and subdistrict, a substantial reduction in risk of death in the fourth cycle compared to the third,” the researchers noted. “The The magnitude of the reduction was attenuated when prior diagnosed infections and vaccination were additionally considered.“.
Still, even when previous infections were taken into account, the risk of dying in the fourth wave was 25% lower than in the third, they pointed out. However, once the adjustments for immunity from previous vaccinations or infections, micron presented a risk similar to that of the variant identified in Wuhan.
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In separate data published by the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD, for its acronym in English) of South Africa, researcher Waasila Jassat said that deaths from Covid-19 in the country had reached a peak of between 14% and 15% of the rate observed in the delta wave, while hospitalizations reached a maximum of 60% in comparison.
The researchers cautioned that given the infectious nature of micron, the public health systems should carefully prevent outbreaks due to potential increase in patients.
“We found a substantial reduction in disease severity Among the diagnosed cases of Covid-19 in the fourth wave promoted by micron compared to previous waves,” the researchers said. Even taking into account the vaccines and the previous infections, the data suggest “an intrinsically reduced virulence of the micron“.