According to the results of a blood survey, South Africa is experiencing the 5th wave of Covid-19, despite the fact that 97 percent of its population had antibodies resulting from previous vaccination or infections.

An investigation of 3,395 blood donor samples previously this year, at the end of the 4th wave of infections, revealed that 87 percent of South African nationals have been infected with this virus, with slightly more than 97 percent having either an earlier infection, a vaccine, or both. The study was led by the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Epidemiological Modeling and Analysis at Stellenbosch University and the South African National Blood Service.

The results indicate that the omicron variant, specifically its BA.4 and BA.5 sublineages, can infect people who are disease-free. Although the positive tests approached a record daily case count as the most recent surge peaked, hospitalizations were significantly lower than in previous waves, with only a few deaths reported.

The researchers write, “The infectious stress of the omicron variant had been extraordinarily high to produce such a large jump in prevalence at a considerably mature stage of the pandemic.” “It’s hard to imagine much high incidence values.”

With over 100,000 fatalities officially recorded and more than 3 times that number when excess data is collected, South Africa is the most seriously impacted by  Covid-19 in Africa. Excess mortality data compares mortality rates to the historical average.

The original omicron variants, as well as the BA.4 and BA.5 sublineages, were discovered in Southern Africa first. Half of the country’s 40 million adult population has been immunized.

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