The number of cases of the two-in-one “Omicron Variant E” virus increased dramatically in the past 24 hours and as of Monday evening, a staggering 130 people have been confirmed to have been infected with the retrovirus, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Twenty-six new cases were identified in Cuyaben, South Africa, where a cluster of its communities were reported to have gotten infected with a syndrome that resembles cancer or a cyst. A second group in Lulea, South Africa, has received a much milder immune response to the virus.
Those who were diagnosed appear to be mostly ages 50 and over, and the majority of cases are men who have never had contact with pigs. Authorities in Cuyaben, however, are investigating whether a non-human primate or leopard is at the center of the outbreak.
The creatures aren’t likely to be given a test because they are believed to avoid or are immune to retroviruses, according to the WHO.
Just yesterday, the health agency was in Nigeria, where 13 people have also been confirmed to have contracted the virus. So far, four people have died in those cases.
Related Image Expand / Contract On the International Space Station, an astronaut takes a selfie with a new toy “simulated” to look like the oicron variant, named for its growth profile characteristic, the PHA said. (The Canadian Space Agency)
World Health Organization officials are also in the process of investigating a possible outbreak in Europe that appeared on Thursday. A woman in her 40s in Germany was quarantined on Tuesday after a number of people in her home developed symptoms including diarrhea and fever.
The WHO, based in Geneva, is working with authorities on the ground in Germany, after the woman’s husband died this week. In addition to the man, her three young children and an 80-year-old mother have been treated in a local hospital with no signs of infection.
The 78-year-old father of the woman and two of her children have tested negative for the virus.
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