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Omicron Variant Drives Rise in Covid-19 Hospitalizations in South Africa Hot Spot

The Omicron variant of Covid-19, which emerged in South Africa, has driven a sharp increase in Covid-19 hospitalizations in the country’s province over the past two weeks. However, South Africa reports that fewer patients are being treated for severe disease than in previous surges. There has also been an unusually high number of hospitalizations of children under the age of 2 around the capital of Pretoria. Cases first began rising in the capital city. The overall number of hospitalizations and deaths over the past two weeks is in line with other waves of infection in South African driven by other varients.

The information gives insight into Omicron and its effect on the human body, as well as how it may differ from other strains of Covid-19. Last week, the World Health Organization declared the variant to be a concern. So far, the number of patients infected with the strain remains too small to determine firm conclusions on whether Omicron presents milder or more severe cases of Covid-19. Israel and Scotland have also reported cases of the Omicron variant.

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