The infection will increase throughout the month. And who already has it Corona virus disease He must not let his guard down: Omicron 5 It also bypasses natural immunity. “Whoever was infected a month ago is almost certainly a different sub-variable – notes the professor Roberto Coda, an infectious disease specialist at the Gemelli dispensary in Rome – now he risks getting infected again.” But there’s also better news: It has been confirmed that the disease caused by 5 is not usually dangerous. And may this summer fire save us a new wave in the fall.
Professor, we’re approaching 100,000 positive cases a day. Should we be afraid?
We expected this wave in the fall, not now. The prevalence of these two Omicron sub-variables, 5 but also 4 that are very similar, changed the scenario. Note that 5 is 10 times more transmissible than the original version of Sars-CoV-2. Worldwide there was an increase in cases, in one week, by 18 percent.”
You see, you must be afraid.
“No. But caution is required. 4 and 5 have the characteristic that we are not seriously ill. We observe very high respiratory forms with colds, sore throat, malaise and aches rather than pneumonia. But be careful: even if the virulence of the virus is lower, where the rate of transmission is Infection is high, the number of people infected is high.In other words: even a low proportion of severe forms are a problem in large numbers.We note it especially in those who have not been vaccinated, in those who are weak, in those with weakened immunity.And it can become A burden on the health system. But fortunately, the two curves do not coincide: hospitals are much lower than those for infections.”
But is it true that the initial version of Omicron did not affect the lungs, while the fourth and fifth versions had an effect?
There is an unpublished study that I know of by a Japanese group. But it is only about guinea pigs and hamsters. Suppose there is a more serious disease. But clinical experience tells us something else. Even a recent document from the Swedish Center speaks of less dangerous forms.”
Let’s stay outdoors longer: why doesn’t this protect us as it did in the summer of 2020 and 2021?
Summer has always been considered a free port, but the virus truce was the result of chance. In the summer of 2020 we had the effect of the extended shutdown. And already in August the outbreak began. In 2021, there was another element: people were vaccinated recently, and the protection was even stronger from infection.”
Are those who have already contracted Covid not protected?
“With 5 cases high again, we are now at 10 percent. Even in fairly quick times, there is danger. Even if I only got hurt a month ago. A recent study showed that immunity caused by the third dose confers greater immunity to infection than that caused by natural infection. However, it is lower than the other variants. In short: even those who have taken the third dose can become infected, but there are fewer severe forms of the disease. And we don’t know if Omicron’s low virulence is related to the virus itself or if it’s, I think, due to the vaccine barrier. Which defends us even if many months have passed since the third dose, because it is linked to cellular immunity that lasts for a longer time.”
When do new cases start coming out?
“Let’s look at the experience of Portugal, a country similar to ours in terms of life expectancy and the number of people vaccinated. There Omicron 5 came first and the growth lasted about four weeks, hospitalizations doubled, but remained in manageable numbers. If in Italy everything goes the same way, then the landing will begin in mid-July, otherwise we will have to wait until the end of the month. Next, I think the strong spread of Micron 5 along with vaccine immunity will provide us with a strong rise in the fall. This is, of course, if no new variables appear.
Will we be vaccinated against Omicron? Is it right to give up masks? Will you remove isolation from positive symptoms?
“The vaccines adapted to Omicron are now ready and we will use them in the fall. But those who will protect against all coronaviruses are also being studied, and it will take longer, but I am convinced that they will arrive sooner than we think. On the masks, I invite everyone, after committing, to wear Ffp2 indoors. In isolation: sooner or later it will be eradicated, and we will act as we do with the flu. But it is still too early to do so.”