What to expect from the Omicron 5 variant. Pregliasco: “We were on high alert for fall but this variant surprised us. And this summer we use the masks like sunglasses “

“The Omicron 5 variant, the most prevalent, can cause an even expected undulating trend, that is, with ups and downs and possibly with more ups this winter. In terms of summer, we don’t slacken a lot, we use masks as if they were sunglasses, especially for people The weak or the caregivers who defend themselves, and also defend their families,” explains the Health Director of the Irccs Istituto Ortopedico Galeazzi on the San Donato Group website.

June 22

“We were already on the alert for a spike in infections in the fall, but the presence of this new Omicron BA.5 variant surprised us,” the professor opens. Fabrizio BrigliascoD., Director of Health at the IRCCS Galeazzi Orthopedic Institute, as well as Assistant Professor of General and Applied Hygiene in the Department of Virology at the Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health at the University of Milan.

“This virus – confirms Brigliasco on the website of the San Donato group – has a severe infection, even higher than measles and chickenpox, with R0 oscillating between 15 and 17: just think the Wuhan variant has an R0 of 2.5, while delta 7!. These represent The values ​​are the average number of secondary cases compared to the indicator condition, so the values ​​make it more fearful (a person can have another 15 or 17 cases).”

“The beginning of this variant, more benevolent, but not so much (mistakenly calling it a simple flu!) – continues Brigliasco – is an “adaptive” virus that reproduces in the upper airways, then develops into a cold, headache, as well as a few cases of dysentery, but with results Less pathological. This is because most of the population was vaccinated or sick or vaccinated and diseased and recovered. So the background of immune responses that, often and willingly, did not prevent infection, but ensured a more normal course.”

“In this variant, for the time being, it is possible to identify the element of risk in the near future, undoubtedly due to the physiological increase that, in recent times, has led to a more tangible return to ‘normality’ thanks to vaccines, with fewer restrictions, less use For masks, and therefore with increased susceptibility to infection, which is an important element that must always be taken into account”, adds the professor.

“The Omicron variant 5, the most prevalent, can cause an even expected undulating trend, that is, with an increase and a decrease and perhaps with more ascent this winter. The virus, as it was born – continues – Brigliasco continues – does not follow a “smart” streak, but variations take root according to improved characteristics. From the point of view of the virus, given its ability to spread.”

“The good news is that, according to a recent study, in Micron 5 there is Long Covid, but in lower proportions than the other variables – continues the expert -. The real problem is that in many cases, the end result may be lower in percentage terms, but higher In terms of absolute cases. This is what we have to face in the future, because Covid is not only the disease in the acute and severe stages, with symptoms of influenza, but also and above all after that, like all infections.”

“I think those over their 80s should definitely embark on the fourth booster dose to give an extra boost to the immune response and memory T cells.

It is assumed that next fall, variant Omicron vaccines will be available, using the latest virus as a basis, and it is more likely that a vaccination campaign similar to the influenza campaign will be envisaged, with a proposed withdrawal for all, but more stringent for the weak”, suggests Brigliasco.

“For summer it is clear that we do not let our guard down so much, we use masks as if they were sunglasses, especially for vulnerable people or for caregivers who are defending themselves, and also defending their families. It is necessary, for coexistence – – concludes Brigliasco – the use of medicines The new virus, in collaboration with your GP who can prescribe and administer it especially for vulnerable people, in order to reduce and control the most serious forms of disease.”

June 22 2022
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