• Mon. Jan 17th, 2022

Omicron variant, Maga (Cnr): “Guard high, in 2 weeks we will know”

Byeditorial

Nov 29, 2021

“It is too early to worry too much about the Omicron variant,” whose symptoms seem mild at the moment, “but it is right to keep alert. This is because we do not have much information. We know, it is true, what are the changes that characterize it. But we can only make some assumptions about the consequences of these changes, such as the increased contagiousness “. Virologist Giovanni Maga, director of the Institute of Molecular Genetics of the Cnr of Pavia, explains this to Adnkronos Salute, recalling that “sometimes what is found when the virus accumulates many mutations, as in the case of this variant, is that it could even its ability to cause symptoms is attenuated. This is because, by changing many characteristics, the virus often becomes more contagious but less capable of giving acute forms “. At the moment, however, “we do not have much information on the consequences of the Omicron variant infection. We know that the people infected in South Africa have not needed hospitalization and all have mild symptoms. However, they are young people, and this element must be evaluated. What we need to do now is to wait, a couple of weeks, the time necessary to have the scientific data and verify if this variant is able to escape the immune system or resist vaccines. At the moment there is no evidence that it is like this”. “The only thing we have to do now is to keep the infections under control”, he stresses. “Current vaccines give protection against variants. Compared to Omicron we do not know if the protection has decreased – says Maga – But the general indication, and we have no reason to think otherwise, it tells us that there is protection. Vaccination remains the best defense available to us against the virus “. “We must remember – continues Maga – that this variant is spreading in a country, South Africa, with a very low vaccination rate, around 24%. And there are other characteristics of the country that must be evaluated. For example, there is a high presence. HIV that causes immunosuppression. All this creates a very fertile ground. It is a different situation compared to our countries where vaccination coverage is high “, he concludes, recalling that” we need to vaccinate the whole world to put an end to the pandemic. Omicron, such as that they are the data that will come out, is the demonstration “.

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