According to WHO, variants of Omicroncovid have spread to 38 countries.

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The World Health Organization said Friday that the Omicron Covid-19 mutant was detected in 38 countries, up from 23 two days ago, and early data suggest that the strain is more contagious than Delta. increase.

Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s Covid-19 technical lead, said in a livestreamed Q & A on the group’s social media channel on Friday that “growth is increasing and the number of omicrons detected is increasing.” “But there are reports of Omicron in 38 countries in all six WHO regions.”

“There are suggestions for improved transmissibility. What we need to understand is whether there is more or less transmissibility compared to Delta,” Wankelhoff said, and delta variants are still in the world. He said he was dominant in.

Wankelhoff said it was too early to understand the severity of the disease caused by Omicron. She said the early reports of mild symptoms in some of the first cases in which it was identified were based on a population of college students who were younger than older adults and tended to experience milder symptoms.

“There was an initial report that it tended to be milder, but it’s really too early,” Wankelhof said. “Anyone infected with SARS-CoV-2 will always start with a mild illness, so any variant may stop mildly. Of course, some are asymptomatic, but mild. It may stop due to illness. It may take some time. “

Van Kerkove said hospitalizations are on the rise in South Africa, but public health officials are not yet aware of the increased risk of death, but are waiting for more data.

Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO Health Emergency Program, said public health officials initially saw mild cases of alpha and delta variants. If the mutant actually causes a more serious illness, it can take up to two weeks to see an increase in mortality associated with Omicron.

“Unfortunately it takes time,” Ryan said. “We’ve seen it in previous waves of this pandemic. With higher incidence, it takes a week or two to be hospitalized and die.”

Van Kerkhove warned that there is a reporting bias at this time, which could obscure how toxic the variant really is. Many of the people around the world who tested positive for Omicron were healthy travelers. This can explain why the symptoms reported so far are mild.

“If you are traveling, you are not ill, or if you are ill, you should not travel,” Van Kerhof said. “Therefore, there is a bias in what is being detected at this time, but it changes over time.”

The first person in the United States to test positive for Omicron was a fully vaccinated traveler between the ages of 18 and 49 returning from South Africa to the San Francisco region.

Van Kerkhove called on countries around the world to sequence Covid-19 cases to detect new mutations and share the results publicly to better understand the evolution of the virus.

“Now is the time to upgrade the system,” she said. “I’ve heard that for quite some time, but it’s never too late to do this. We need to upgrade our system.”

Van Kerkhove said South Africa was the first country to report Omicron to WHO, but the timeline could change as more countries sort out untreated Covid cases from November. I have.

“Therefore, some of the early cases of this particular variant may not be very good in South Africa,” she said.

Van Kerkhove and Ryan stated that current vaccines are the most effective means of delaying the transmission of the virus. Ryan said there is a “clear link” between vaccine inequity and the development of variants around the world. WHO has repeatedly criticized wealthy countries for not doing enough to vaccinate poor countries around the world.

Pfizer and Moderna say it takes about two weeks for researchers to learn how Omicron affects current vaccines when collecting data.

“We don’t need to change the vaccine we’re currently using,” Ryan said. “There is no evidence to support it. There is no evidence to change it, but much to find out if we change it, how to change those vaccines, and if that work needs to be done in advance. Work is in progress. “

According to WHO, variants of Omicroncovid have spread to 38 countries.

Source link According to WHO, variants of Omicroncovid have spread to 38 countries.

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