The new variants of Covid, in particular Pirola and Eris, do not seem to cause symptoms other than those already known: sore throat and fever, cold and fatigue, headache and possible absence of smell and taste. The increase in infections linked to the most recent mutations, therefore, should not produce a more serious disease.
“For now there is absolutely no indication that infection” with the new variants of Sars-CoV-2 “could cause more severe disease, or make vaccines less effective against severe disease compared to previously circulated variants,” says Andrea Ammon, director of the ECDC, European Center for Disease Prevention and Control, in a press conference held together with the executive director of the European Medicines Agency EMA, Emer Cooke. “However – he points out – older people and those with pre-existing pathologies still run a higher risk of experiencing serious outcomes if they are infected” and affected by Covid-19.
“At the beginning of September – reports the ECDC director – a growing transmission of Sars-CoV-2 was reported in more than half of the EU/European Economic Area countries. Fortunately the level of serious illnesses and deaths was still relatively low. It is important to pay particular attention to Covid-19 in older age groups. And we see that 9 out of 16 countries reporting case counts divided by age have seen numbers increase in the over 80s, and 12 out of 16 observed growth in people aged 65 and over” for multiple weeks. “Covid deaths in absolute terms remain low compared to levels reported earlier in the pandemic, however – added Ammon – 4 out of 12 countries with specific data have recently reported small increases in deaths among those over 65”.
The growth of the Sars-CoV-2 contagion, continues ECDC number one, “also coincides with the advent and predominance of a group of Omicron subvariants called ‘XBB.1.5-like'”, variants similar to Kraken, “carriers of the F456L mutation. Furthermore, in August a new Omicron sublineage, BA.2.86”, named Pirola on social media, “was sporadically detected within the EU/EEA and outside. And although only a few cases have been confirmed at global, we can suspect, since these cases are quite dispersed, that there is low-level community transmission of this variant in multiple countries. This is quite a divergent variant from those currently circulating, which could lead to an increase of reinfections”.
“Our modeling showed that a highly upheld Covid-19 vaccination campaign, targeting people aged 60 and over, could prevent around 21-32% of all Covid-related hospitalizations in the EU/Space European economy until February 24″, is the estimate released by Ammon.
“Covid-19, influenza and respiratory syncytial virus” Rsv “remain significant challenges for public health. Together we ask all citizens of the European Union who belong to risk categories and are candidates for vaccination: please, get the vaccines that the EU public health authorities make it available to you”, the appeal launched by Cooke.
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