- The National Institute for Communicable Diseases has addressed South Africans, saying that the new BA.2 Covid-19 variant is no reason to panic
- Adherence to Covid-19 protocols, such as using sanitiser, has lowered the immunity of most people against the flu
- The institute has not decided if receiving a flu vaccine shortly after a Covid-19 vaccine or booster shot is advisable
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CAPE TOWN - The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) has responded to South Africans' concerns regarding the new BA.2 variant of Covid-19. The NICD said that at this stage there is no need to worry about the variant.
BA.2 is allegedly a mutation of the Omicron variant. Penny Moore from the NICD said that people should not panic about the variant until more data and research proves there is a need to do so.
“In terms of whether it is cause for concern, we actually don’t have enough data. We are studying it. I don’t see any reason we should be concerned. We are monitoring it in SA," Moore said.
The fifth wave and flu vaccine issues
Dr Joe Phaahla, the Minsiter of Health, warned South Africans that the country could experience a fifth wave of Covid-19 this winter, due to cold weather and an increase in flu vaccines, TimesLIVE reports.
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Flu has not spread as much as usual in the last two years due to Covid-19 protocols such as sanitising hands and surfaces. A knock-on effect of this is that people have a lowered immunity to it and are starting to contract flu in addition to Covid-19 when they are infected with the coronavirus.
According to Drum, the NICD are unsure if getting the flu vaccine shortly after having the Covid-19 vaccine or its booster shot is advisable. However, they confirmed that the vaccines are not transferable, meaning that one can't be taken in the hopes that it will protect from both flu and Covid-19.
South Africans react to the NICD's remarks
"Finding new Covid-19 variants has brought us nothing but fake international praise followed by isolations. When will we learn?"
"I don't care about these variants that are caused by vaccinated people."
"Where was this “relax” attitude when we were being banned left right & centre, even by Mauritius?"
"It's getting out of hand now."
"This is getting kind of ridiculous at this point where is regular Covid-19 at?"
Covid19 and malaria have similar symptoms, warns the NICD, SA must get tested]
In other news about the NICD, yesterday Briefly News reported that the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) have issued a malaria warning as South Africa enters its peak season for the disease.
The NICD said that many people might not be aware that they have been infected with malaria, as it presents similar symptoms to Covid-19, such as fatigue, fever, headaches, chills and muscle pain. The malaria hotspots in South Africa are Limpopo, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal.
Residents in these areas and people who have travelled there in the past six weeks have been encouraged to get tested for malaria, because if left untreated, the disease can be severe and even fatal.
Source: Briefly News