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Old 12-07-2021, 10:28 AM   #5158
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Join Date: Apr 2007

Originally Posted by GGG View Post
All of the Omicron good news seems to quote the same two or 3 people quoting the same pieces of incomplete data. Hopefully it stays positive because of Omicron isnít 10 times less deadly we are in trouble. The rate of spread is crazy. Gauteng has a 25% positivity rate
Mostly conjecture on my part, but I wonder if any mildness we're seeing is actually just prior immunity helping protect against severe disease. While South Africa's official COVID case numbers and death toll aren't all that high, their excess death numbers through the pandemic are exceptionally high, at nearly 0.5% of the population. Given their young population and what you'd expect the IFR to be for their demographics, it's quite possible that a huge majority of their population has some form of immunity.

That would make the virus appear to be milder, when it really could just be an immune escape variant whose severity is mitigated by cellular immunity in the vaccinated and previously infected. That would also line up with the ages of hospitalizations that they saw in the 2nd half of November:

Because of vaccinations, the older groups are likely to have more widespread immunity (either vaccination or recovery boosted by vaccination) than the younger groups which is why their hospitalizations are relatively lower than in the Delta wave.
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