Health

WHO forecast: “The Omicron variant will hit half of Europe in two months”

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Rome, January 12 – At the current rate of infections, in two months more than 50% of Europeans will be infected with the Omicron variant of Covid. The forecast comes from the director of WHO Europe Hans Klüge (in the picture), in information about the course of the pandemic of the Old Epirus.

The Omicron variant, in short, is galloping and will continue to infect. The World Health Organization estimates that, at the current rate of transmission, more than fifty percent of the European population will be affected by the variant in the next 6-8 weeks. The forecast is based on a calculation made by the Institute for Health Measurements and Evaluations, University of Washington.

“Data collected in recent weeks confirms that Omicron is highly contagious because its mutations allow it to attach more easily to human cells and can also infect those who have already been infected or vaccinated.“, Said Kluge. On the plus side, more than half of those infected are virtually asymptomatic, and high vaccination rates reduce mortality and even hospitalization compared to previous waves. But the speed of the spread of infections is truly impressive, so much so that the UN Health Service predicts that health systems will continue to be under tremendous pressure in the coming weeks.

We must remember that, for the WHO, the European Region includes European Russia and the former Soviet republics of Central Asia. Well, out of the 53 countries in the region, 50 have already registered the variant that quickly dominates Western Europe and is now spreading to the Balkans. More than seven million new Covid-19 cases were reported across the Region in the first week of 2022, “Data more than doubled in two weeks”, observes WHO.

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The wave of infections, moving from west to east, threatens to sink health systems, also because many of those affected will be doctors and other health professionals, more exposed to the virus, with the consequent negative effects of being absent from work in hospitals.
Kluge broke a spear in favor of the schools, calling on them to keep them open: “It must be the last place to close and the first to reopen: leaving schools open has significant benefits for the mental, social and educational well-being of children“The senior representative of the WHO said, pointing to ventilation and the use of masks, both by students and teachers, as keys to continue attending classes.

With regard to vaccines, in the opinion of the WHO, the fight against the pandemic with booster doses risks being a strategy with “It is unlikely to be suitable or sustainableIt is now clear that “Vaccines are needed and should be developed that have a high impact on the prevention and transmission of infection, as well as on the prevention of death and the severe form of the disease.“.

A position that restarts a belief now shared by the international scientific community (see the very recent statements about it the president of Aifa Giorgio Palou) and this goes in the direction of the need to update the composition of vaccines in order to continue “To provide the level of protection recommended by the WHO against infections and diseases caused by variants.”





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