Omikron has already been discovered in most countries of the world. Most cases are currently in Great Britain, South Africa and the USA as well as Denmark, Belgium, Switzerland, Australia and Germany
Data from these countries show that the course of infection with the novel coronavirus variant is usually mild
However, experts dampen enthusiasm by recommending not to attach much importance to these findings as they pertain to a very small group of patients, plus most of them are young and vaccinated
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Omicron range in the world
Omicron is the fastest growing strain Corona virus. It was first discovered on November 11 in Botswana. Within a few days, he was already in other African countries and across the continent’s borders, reaching for example to Japan. At the end of November, it was discovered in Europe, and today it is found in almost every country in the world. As the Secretary-General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said on Tuesday in Geneva, the presence of Omikron on its territory was reported by 77 countries, but most likely also in other countries, which have not yet been identified.
According to the data of the GISAID database, there are currently the largest number of infections with the new variant in Great Britain – 4000 have already been detected here. 120 cases. The second is South Africa, where Omikron emerged a month ago and dominated the other variables in a twelve days or so – here there have been 1,000 infections before so far. 247. There are quite a few cases in the USA (421), Denmark (273), Belgium (131), Switzerland (129), Australia (126) and Germany (104).
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An alternative is also available in Poland. The first case was found of a 30-year-old Lesotho citizen who came to our country to attend the United Nations Digital Summit in Katowice. Coronavirus was also present in samples taken from two members of the same delegation, but this variant of SARS-CoV-2 was not found.
However, today the Ministry of Health announced the second case. The Omikron variant was detected in a sample collected from a three-year-old girl from Warsaw. We write more about it here.
Read also: Why was there no Omikron in Poland yet?
New type of shackle-resistant Omikron?
Most countries when the news of the disclosure A new type of corona virusWhich in many of them coincided with the height of the fourth wave of the epidemic, and imposed additional restrictions. They primarily affected travelers who crossed national borders – all to reduce the risks of transporting Omicron. Today it is known that The breed has survived all obstacles, despite the careful tests of travelers.
Good examples of the last two notable cases of infection with the variant are: the aforementioned citizen of Lesotho and A teenage Polish woman was diagnosed with Omicron after arriving in Tianjin, China. In the first case, the variant was not detected after arriving in Poland, but only before leaving the country, that is, when a woman from an African country had already spent several days in Poland. In the case of a girl from Warsaw, the test before traveling to China was also negative. This may mean that at the time of the first examination, the infection was, in both cases, too recent for the tests to detect.
Countries where Omikron has been around for about a month show that infection with this type is rather mild, symptoms are not severe and most patients do not require hospitalization. Although this information seems convenient, specialists recommend not to give it too much importance. why?
Omikron: How do you interpret the South African data?
First, these data come mainly from South Africa, where the disease mainly affects young, healthy people, for whom potential infection is not as heavy a burden as in the case of the elderly or those with comorbidities. Notably, the average lifespan in this African country is only 27.6 (compared to 40.4 in the UK).
Second, a large proportion of the documented cases are of vaccinated people. because The role of the vaccine is to reduce the risk of infection with a severe course of COVID-19, it is no wonder that their course of infection is mild and they do not require medical intervention. This is actually one of the problems that distinguishes Omikron from previous variants (mainly Alpha and Beta, but partly also Delta) – the global vaccination rate is incomparably higher than before. So the virus has less wiggle room, and even when it attacks despite being vaccinated, it is less likely to result in hospitalization or death.
Third, despite the fact that in recent days, South Africa has recorded a higher number of hospital admissions COVID-19This does not mean that they all ended up there due to infection with the Corona virus. According to procedures, everyone admitted to the facility must be tested for the presence of SARS-CoV-2, so it has been detected in some patients by mistake, often in mild or asymptomatic form.
Fourth, caution should also be exercised regarding the larger number of children admitted to hospital with omicron. As explained by Vicki Bailey, senior researcher at Chris Hani Paragwanath Hospital in Johannesburg, the data mainly come from an area where many children live in poverty. – They can become malnourished and more than average are exposed to the virus – he confirms.
moreover, Most children stay in the hospital for two to three days, and as with adults, not all of them end up in the facility due to COVID-19.Infection was detected during pre-hospital testing. It is also worth noting that the percentage of children admitted to hospitals with coronavirus in Gauteng (a Johannesburg-based province) has also fallen within ten days or so from a high of 14 per cent. up to 8 percent
How did Omicron fight abroad?
Experts point out that such a rapid increase in the range omicron It does not mean that travel restrictions should not be imposed. However, it does show how contagious this variant we’re dealing with is and how much importance we must attach to other means of protection against infection, such as vaccinations, staying away from infection, disinfecting, and wearing a mask in the foreground.
The UK has now focused on a campaign urging people to take a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. – Now, more than ever, it is necessary that you receive the first, second or The third dose. Please don’t leave it to chance,” tweeted the London Regional Director of Public Health, Kevin Fenton.
The public reaction surprised the government. After launching a campaign targeting adults eligible for enhanced admission, the NHS website has been down due to massive vaccination registrationsOnline stores are running out of virus detection tests.
According to government data, the number of cases of Omicron infection in the UK is doubling every two days. At the same time, the country records records of COVID-19 infections in general – 88,376 new infections were recently reported in one day, the highest number since the beginning of the epidemic.
The editorial board recommends the following:
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