Is Omicron 5 the worst variant? Hospitalization (up to 30%), symptoms, vaccine efficacy: Here’s what we know

Exceptional susceptibility to the Omicron 5 . sub-variable This is evidenced by the numbers of infections throughout Western Europe: Italy alone in January had a large number of infected people in one day (more than 133 thousand); In one week, positives increased by 55 percent while hospital admissions rose by 30 percent. The situation in France, Spain and Germany is similar. Experts argue that a person infected with Omicron 5 infects 15 other people, even if it is favored by the fact that in Italy, but also in other countries, the vast majority of the population no longer uses masks and this, compared to other variants. Try to counter it by paying more attention, and it feeds the infection. On the other hand, the intense heat of these days reduces the beneficial effect that the fact that we spend more time outdoors in the summer should offer: we are all looking for fresh air and this increases the hours we spend indoors.

Omicron 5, Symptoms and Severity

From a clinical point of view, scientists confirm that Omicron 5 primarily affects the upper respiratory tract, causing pneumonitis lower than Delta. However, there is a problem, as Roberto Cauda, ​​an infectious disease specialist at Gemelli, explained in an interview with Messenger: Even if the proportion of serious cases is fortunately low, it is still an absolute large number. Also, according to Eric Topol of the Scripps Research Institute, Omicron 5 may be the worst virus we’ve ever seen because it is highly transmissible. The main problem is that it can also infect those who tested positive recently, according to Koda even just a month ago, even if they contracted other Omicron subvariants.

immune escape

Immune leakage that goes beyond, at least in terms of protection against infection, even vaccines, is the real problem. The current vaccine update must overcome this obstacle: it has been studied for previous versions of Omicron, while on the horizon there is not only a massive prevalence of 5, very different, but also a prevalence of new sub-variants, such as Ba.2.75, which has 11 mutations that characterize it About 5, with greater immune leakage.

The effect of the vaccine on the disease

It must also be said, as experts explain, that strengthening immunity with boosting doses is still important, because protection against dangerous diseases remains. However, giving the fourth dose to those over 80 is slow. Finally, it must be said that the experience of Portugal, the first country in Western Europe to experience the impressive spread of Omicron 5, also offers some glimmer of optimism because after rapid growth, cases are now declining and hospitals, despite strong pressure, have held.

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