Omicron 5, Professor Pregliasco explains what to expect from the new variant

As of today, we are in the midst of moving from an endemic trend of the COVID-19 virus to the very end of the pandemic.

This does not mean a solution to the problem or archive it, but rather the necessity of living with the virus.

We can imagine the path of the virus as waves, i.e. not a fixed value, but oscillating ripples which hopefully will resemble waves caused by a stone in a pond, i.e. a tendency in the future to reduce them.

With the emergence of the new Omicron BA.5 variant and the resumption of infection, although with milder symptoms, the question mark over the fate of the spread of the virus in the coming months has revived the famous alarm bells that we briefly suppressed.

In addition, the arrival of the holidays leads us, more than ever, to take precautions for a safer and hopefully COVID-19-free summer.

But will this really be the case? We asked Professor Fabrizio Brigliasco, medical director of the IRCCS Istituto Ortopedico Galeazzi.

Infection of the new Omicron 5 variant

“We were already on the alert for an increase in infection in the fall, but the presence of this new Omicron BA.5 variant surprised us,” explains Professor Fabrizio Brigliasco.

This virus is highly contagious, even higher than measles and smallpox, with an R0 between 15 and 17: just think the Wuhan variant has an R0 of 2.5, while Delta has a 7!

These values ​​represent the average number of secondary cases compared to the index case, so the values ​​make it more terrifying (one person can infect 15 or 17 others).”

Omicron 5, what kind of virus is this

“This variant, which is milder but not by much (mistakenly calling it a simple flu!), is an ‘adaptive’ virus that replicates in the first respiratory tract, progressing to colds, headaches and even some cases of dysentery, with lower disease outcomes, however.

Indeed, the majority of the population has either been vaccinated or has been vaccinated and sickened and recovered.

Thus, the background of immune responses that often did not prevent infection, but ensured a milder course.

In this variant, at the moment, it is possible to identify the element of danger in the near future, undoubtedly due to the physiological increase that has recently led to a tangible return to “normality” thanks to vaccinations, with fewer restrictions, less use of masks, but Thus, with increased susceptibility to infection, an important element that should always be taken into account.”

Development of the new Omicron 5 variant

The more common Omicron 5 variant can also cause an early wave pattern, i.e. with slope ups and downs and possibly new ones this winter.

The virus at birth does not follow a “smart” line, but rather differences that settle according to the characteristics of the improvement of the virus in terms of its ability to spread.

How to defend against the new Omicron 5 variant

“The good news is that, according to a recent study, Long Covid is present in Omicron 5, but in lower proportions than other variants,” continues the expert.

The real problem is that with many cases, the end result may be lower in percentage terms, but higher in absolute cases.

This is what we must face in the future, because Covid is not only the disease in its acute and severe stage, with symptoms of influenza, but also and above all the consequences, like all kinds of infections.

I think those over 80 should definitely go ahead with the fourth booster dose to give an extra boost to the immune response and memory T cells.

It is assumed that next fall, vaccines will be available for the Omicron variant, using the latest virus as a base, and a similar influenza vaccination campaign will also be planned, with a proposed booster for all, but more stringent for the vulnerable.

“For summer, of course, let’s not let our guard down so much, let’s use masks as if they were sunglasses, especially for vulnerable people or caregivers who, by defending themselves, are also defending their families.

Il est crucial », conclut Pregliasco, « d’utiliser les nouveaux médicaments viraux, en collaboration avec son médecin généraliste, qui peut les prescrire et les grave administrer, en particulier aux aux médicaments fragiles, afinet de contrduire les plus the disease “.

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