Reduction in the Infection Fatality Rate of Omicron Variant Compared with Previous Variants in South Africa

Yuan Liu, Yangyang Yu, Yanji Zhao, Daihai He

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant has caused global concern. Previous studies have shown that the variant has enhanced immune evasion ability and transmissibility and reduced severity. Methods: In this study, we developed a mathematical model with time-varying transmission rate, vaccination, and immune evasion. We fit the model to reported case and death data up to February 6, 2022 to estimate the transmissibility and infection fatality ratio of the Omicron variant in South Africa. Results: We found that the high relative transmissibility of the Omicron variant was mainly due to its immune evasion ability, whereas its infection fatality rate substantially decreased by approximately 78.7% (95% confidence interval: 66.9%, 85.0%) with respect to previous variants. Conclusion: On the basis of data from South Africa and mathematical modeling, we found that the Omicron variant is highly transmissible but with significantly lower infection fatality rates than those of previous variants of SARS-CoV-2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-149
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Infectious Diseases
Volume120
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022

Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Immune evasion
  • Infection fatality rate
  • Omicron

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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