“Dominant in the EU, leap to Italy”

by time news

As of January 10, the Omicron variant of the covid was already dominant in 23 countries of the European Union / European Economic Area, a number that has certainly increased given that other countries were close to exceeding the 50% prevalence threshold. In the last week, Italy, along with 10 other countries (Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Luxembourg, Malta, Spain and Sweden), is among the areas where the leap forward has been the most significant, equal to or above 20%. These are some of the data that emerge in the latest weekly epidemiological update of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control Ecdc.

As of January 20, the variant appears to have been identified in all EU / See countries. From December 20, 2021 to January 9, 23 states with adequate sequencing volume reported an estimated prevalence of Omicron of 69.4%. In studies conducted in various settings, the risk of hospitalization was lower for Omicron than for Delta. However, immunity from natural infection and vaccination, including booster doses, as well as improved treatment options, contribute to less severe outcomes – notes the ECDC – making it difficult to estimate the inherent risk of serious infections for Omicron.

Although the studies used slightly different data, most found a risk reduction in the range of 50-60%. Of the Omicron cases reported to the TESSy system – 155,150 up to the second week of 2022 – 1.14% were hospitalized, 0.16% required intensive care / respiratory support, and 0.06% were deceased. “Early studies suggest that current vaccines may be less effective against Omicron infection, although they still provide protection against hospitalization and serious illness. Given Omicron’s exponential growth advantage and large number of cases, any potential the benefit of a lower observed severity can be outweighed by the number of serious outcomes over time “, concludes the ECDC.

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