Johannesburg – South Africa has recorded its first case of a new, highly transmissible variant of the Coronavirus.
The World Health Organization says XBB.1.5, is the most transmissible sub-variant detected so far.
However, it does not seem to vary much in severity compared to other variants.
Senior Research Fellow at Stellenbosch University’s Centre for Epidemiological Modelling and Analysis Professor Alex Welte says while Covid-19 is not going anywhere, there is no need to panic about the latest strain.
“It does seem to be currently replacing the other strains without completing them through transmissibility where it’s become prevalent in the US and has been doing that for some time,” Welte said.
“They have not seen any really major uptick in the number of deaths, they’re currently seeing a small uptick in the number of deaths, this could just be because they’re well into the winter.
“This doesn’t mean cases have a higher sort of risk of being severe once it has happened. We don’t know too much about the severity, there isn’t any striking signal that it’s anything terribly outrageous or significant so I don’t think we need to panic.”
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