For a few weeks the UK has been shaking due to the spread of Delta variant, at least 60% more contagious than the Alpha (English) variant which itself is 50% more contagious than the native Wuhan strain. The increase in infections has prompted the British government to delay openings to block the circulation of the highly contagious strain. The variant now constitutes 96% of cases and spreads mainly among young people between 10 and 29 years old. 68% of people infected with Delta are unvaccinated. Less than 5% of cases involved people aged 60 or over. There has been an exponential increase in cases for days, like last fall, however admissions have grown much more slowly and they involved in particular young people between 25 and 44 years old.

The run of the Indian variant slows down

For a few days, the Indian variant has been slowing down its course: infections continue to grow, having now exceeded the threshold of ten thousand a day, but at a lower rate than a few weeks ago. Today only 1% of hospital beds occupied by Covid patients and in one third of the hospitals there is not even one hospitalized for the virus. Covid mortality has also collapsed. According to British scientists, aturnaround. What Britain is experiencing a new peak of infections, due to the high transmissibility of the Delta variant, but without the dramatic consequences experienced in the last wave where they were counted even beyond a thousand deaths a day.

The merit of vaccines

The merit of vaccines, which also proved effective with the Delta variant, albeit with a slight loss of effectiveness. And this is demonstrated by the fact that most of the infected people are unvaccinated people, in particular young people (vaccinations have only been open for a few days to all those over 18 years of age), or people even older than the age who have chose not to get vaccinated. There are cases of infections even among fully vaccinated, but it is generally asymptomatic or paucisymptomatic infections.

The English scenario in Italy

What the UK is experiencing now, an increase in infections with a very low number of hospitalizations and deaths, one scenario that Italy could also experience around September-October as predicted by the virologist Fabrizio Pregliasco. Thanks to the hot season and the fact that we are outdoors a lot, the virus is slowing down its spread, but also in Italy the Delta variant will become dominant and with the restart of schools it is likely that there will be an increase in infections. Thanks to the vaccines, the damage will be contained and there will not be a real new wave, but a blow from the tail of the virus, a small wave with mild infections, without the increase in hospitalizations and deaths that we experienced last winter. The important thing is that the vaccination campaign continues in a decisive way, that adolescents are also vaccinated to return to school safely, even if the little ones will remain for now a reservoir for the spread of the virus. The over two million over 60s who, for various reasons, have not yet been vaccinated must also be traced.

The epidemic like an iceberg

Pregliasco compares the coronavirus epidemic to an iceberg. This epidemic has as its course that of the construction and melting of an iceberg: the virus spreads creating an underground base much larger than the visible one. The first lockdown melted the iceberg on the surface. But continuous contacts and accumulations have recreated so many infections that at a certain point have brought up the visible part. With the second lockdown the tip of the iceberg was once again melted. Vaccination now makes surface ice formation much more complicated. It will still grow, but to a lesser extent, because most cases are avoided since most vaccinated people do not become infected.

June 20, 2021 (change June 20, 2021 | 14:53)


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