Notice to readers: o EL PAÍS keeps essential information about the coronavirus open during the crisis. We wanted to support our journalism, click here to assinate.
There are more and more data indicating that the new micron variant is spreading at great speed in European countries. A rate that exceeds the real-time detection capacity of two surveillance systems, since the cases must be confirmed by genetic sequencing —a process that, due to its complexity, can take several days. The specialists consulted consider that the more foreseeable during the next few weeks is “a substantial increase in micron detection, which is beginning to be perceived, since a new variant replaces delta, something that could happen in about three weeks,” he explains. Federico García, chef of Microbiology at Hospital San Cecilio (Granada), a reference center for eastern Andalusia.
In the manhã of this second-fair, the United Kingdom warned that the new variant spreads “at an extraordinary rate” and is responsible for 40% of two cases detected in London. The country registered this manhã the first death caused by the micron in the world (of a person whose identity, gender or age have not been revealed). An increase that also occurs in the continent and about which the European Center for Prevention and Control of Crimes (ECDC) alerted in its daily report on microns. Second or document, in Europe —or body brings together given two countries of the European Union (EU), Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein— foram confirmed atte or noon of this second-fair a total of 1,686 cases.
São 920 more than ontem, most of two new cases are due to a change in the accounting of Norway. Until now, this country followed the same two other criteria: consider as “confirmed” only those cases with genetic sequencing and “prove” those with a PCR test that had raised suspicions about micron —some PCR tests may anticipate or result in quite reliable, second to the analysis of certain parts of the virus—relative to the strict contacts of a confirmed or proven case. As of now, Norway considers as “confirmed” both the cases of the first and the second group
The differences between countries are still more noticeable. Some two minors, such as Denmark, are among those who respond by more confirmations (195), or who have the ECDC and the specialists to suspect that these cases are still provisional and would be more linked to the sequencing capacity of each country where real circulation of the micron between its cities.
The ECDC emphasizes, in all sense, that “it makes the cases [da nova variante] Communications did not start to have been related to travel, a growing number of infections now occurring in European countries”. The preliminary results of the analysis of the European Surveillance System (TESS in the English acronym, an integrated network of epidemiological information) showed that only 13% of two confirmed cases are now related to travelers, while 70% of two infections occurred locally (or relative does not specify the origin of two other infections).
However, as usual, this last percentage is affected by certain viés: as the surges caused by the micron variant are being investigated, its presence tends to gain more weight. Despite this, the ECDC considers that these data “indicate that community transmission [da variante ômicron] Já can be under way in European countries without it having been detected” in all its magnitude.
Jordi Vila, chef of the Microbiology service of the Hospital Clínic (Barcelona), confirms that the progressive implantation of the micron in Spain is the “most likely” scenario according to the data that is emerging. Still assim, he reports that at this time no significant increase in cases was detected in the tests carried out by his health center.
These data convince more and more specialists that to the first of the three big questions that accompany the detection of any new variant —is it more contagious, more virulent and escapes the protection offered by vaccines and by natural infection— there is an affirmative answer.
On the second question, on the contrary, the first given that are being known, take a lot of preliminaries, aim for a slight optimism. This was stated by Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the United States and medical adviser to President Joe Biden. According to Fauci, the first cases suggest that the new variant does not cause more serious conditions than the delta variant, and this explains why the rates of hospitalization “will not increase”.
“Até now, you feel like you are a little animators, but we must be careful before concluding that [a ômicron] be less serious compared to a delta,” Fauci declared.
The fear of specialists and health authorities is that, if a micron variant is equally contagious —even if it causes milder clinical conditions than it gives you delta—, or the volume of patients in absolute terms may be of such magnitude that it sub-targets the health systems. heal a huge pressure.
Nesse sense, or ECDC highlights that, “in all the cases about which there is information available”, the infection is “mild or asymptomatic” and there are no registered deaths among the people infected by the new variant. However, “these data must be analyzed with caution, since the number of confirmed cases is greatly reduced to understand the clinical manifestations of the micron variant differ from those previously analyzed.”
O fator-chave nesse ponto will be a third question: the effectiveness of the vaccines available against ômicron. The collected data, also preliminary, show a noteworthy protection against infection, which is always mild or asymptomatic, but there are still no conclusive analyzes that allow us to affirm that protection against serious and fatal infection is also reduced. Some countries, such as the United Kingdom, will accelerate for this reason the administration of a third dose in the entire adult population.