New virus variant casts pall, shocks experts in South Africa

Posted at 10:39 AM, Nov 28, 2021

PRETORIA, South Africa — The overcast, drizzly skies match the somber mood at the Tshwane University of Technology, a hot spot in South Africa’s latest surge of COVID-19 cases, apparently driven by the new omicron variant.

The world is racing to contain that variant.

It was first identified in southern Africa but is popping up around the globe.

The variant's risks are not yet understood.

Early evidence suggests it poses an increased risk that people who have already had COVID-19 could catch it again.

It could take weeks to know if current vaccines are less effective against it.

Still, some experts are hopeful that vaccines will be at least somewhat effective and continue to encourage people to get inoculated.