One of the preliminary findings from clinical trials in South Africa suggests that Omicron variant of coronavirus has a higher rate of asymptomatic ‘carriage’ than earlier variants.
Both the studies point towards a higher rate of infection than its previous outbreaks, also there has been a higher proportion of asymptomatic carriers.
In Ubuntu, 230 participants were initially screened in December and 31 per cent tested positive; all of whom were later confirmed to be Omicron. However, this data is in stark contrast to Covid-19 vaccine studies conducted before Omicron.
In the sub-study of Sisonke, the mean asymptomatic carriage rate among the participants was 16 per cent during the Omicron period; this is as compared to 2.6 per cent during Beta and Delta outbreaks.
The key findings suggest a high carriage rate even among those vaccinated, the South African Medical Research Council says in a release.
But so many people may be asymptomatic, scientists can not always know who is carrying the virus, but all we know so far is what we can do to protect ourselves with the help of masks.
As per the preliminary data, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said that Covid-19 vaccines remain effective against severe disease and hospitalisation from Omicron.
Although the Omicron variant appears to be more infectious than other variants studies from South Africa, the UK and some European Union (EU) member states show a lower risk of being hospitalised after infection with Omicron.