The arrival of summer rhymes in Europe this year, driven by new sub-variants of Omicron, with an increase in Kovid-19 cases, is calling for vigilance.
Also read: Are we afraid of BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants?
Many European countries have been experiencing new pollution speeds for weeks.
First affected, Portugal experienced a significant increase in new cases in May, reaching the level of nearly 30,000 infections per day in early June. Since then the wave has started to recede.
In the UK, daily epidemics are again at an all-time high since the epidemic began.
According to the latest report from the Ministry of Health, 30,526 new cases were reported in Italy in 24 hours (Saturday to Sunday), an increase of 63.4% in 7 days.
The same fate befell Germany.
France accelerated the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 over the mainland for ten days and now the pollution rate exceeds 44,000 cases (seven days on average).
Recovery is described as a combination of two effects, explained to AFP Mircia T. Sofonia, an epidemiology lecturer at the University of Montpellier. On the one hand, “immunodeficiency”, which means “protection provided by an infection or vaccine dose, decreases over time”.
On the other hand, with the arrival of new subspecies of Omicron, BA.4 and especially BA.5, they seem to be benefiting from the doubling of the infection and spreading more rapidly with the escape of immunity.
“We are experiencing a continual evolution of the virus that meets people who already have antibodies – because they have previously been infected or vaccinated – and should have the selective advantage to perform the insertion,” said director Oliver Schwartz, director of the virus and immunity unit at the Pasteur Institute.
“BA.5, and to some extent BA.4, is spreading in Europe,” he said. However “epidemiological data show that it is 10% more contagious than BA.2, which is why it was acquired”.
On the severity of BA.5, Mr said, “In the absence of firmly established clinical data, it is too early to tell.” Said Schwartz.
The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) ruled in mid-June that, based on limited data, “there is no evidence that BA4 and BA.5 variants are associated with increased severity of infection compared to BA. .1 and BA.2 “.
However, as with previous waves, the center warned that an overall increase in Kovid-19 cases could lead to hospital admissions, critical care admissions and deaths.
The European population as a whole has a high level of immunity due to vaccinations and past infections. This gives him a stronger defense against the risk of a more serious form of the disease than the risk of a new infection, which limits the level of recovery in the hospital.
In France, there have been risks leading to a “moderate epidemic recovery” in recent weeks (more than doubling the number of cases in three weeks), along with a “small resumption of hospitalization” and a “delay increase over time” in critical care. And deaths, the council president on Tuesday attributed the orientation of the vaccination strategy to Professor Alain Fisher.
“Nothing dramatic will happen in the intensive care units of hospitals,” assured German virologist Klaus Stohr for his part.
The ECDC called on European countries to “be careful” and maintain testing and monitoring systems.
“In anticipation of future waves, it is estimated that groups with a higher risk of serious disease will need additional booster doses (vaccines),” he said.
Some countries have already announced new measures. Italy has decided in mid-June to extend the obligation to wear FFP2 masks on public transport (excluding airplanes) until September 30. “I would like to continue to recommend that you protect yourself by making a second booster of the anti-COVID vaccine,” said Roberto Speranza, the current health minister, who is particularly positive about those at risk.
Frank Ulrich Montgomery, German president of the World Medical Association, called for the speedy adoption of the “toolbox” with its mask, vaccine and contact limit.
In France, against the backdrop of a “moderate epidemic recovery”, the government this week called on the ancients to receive a second booster vaccine “as soon as possible.” One-fourth of those eligible have received their second booster vaccine against COVID, which the government insists is “clearly not enough”.