“It’s a numerical question. When epidemics are a fire that spreads very fast, at a certain point they no longer find material for combustion. Unfortunately, sometimes Delta’s catastrophism takes on a life of its own, outside of scientific logic”. This was explained by virologist Guido Silvestri, professor at Emory University, in an interview with ‘La Repubblica’. Is Omicron less severe than Delta due to its characteristics, or because there are many vaccinated and cured? “We know as much from test-tube cell experiments as from animal experiments that Omicron is less capable of infecting the deep lung. Let’s say it’s great at targeting the upper respiratory tract, but it’s lame when it comes to attacking the lung. This also explains the clinical picture “, Silvestri observes. Will it become like the flu with the annual vaccine? “I really hope so – replies Silvestri – But we have to monitor and carry out epidemiological surveillance. Far be it from me the desire to be alarmist, but the biggest risk is that a variant escaping that maintains the infectious aggressiveness of Omicron, but also reacquires the ability to damage Delta’s lung. I hope it never happens, but we have to be prepared. And the best way is to stick with the vaccines. “So Omicron does not mean that the virus is weakened in general: could it come back with a stronger variant? “Exactly. The biggest nonsense we could do is to think that Covid is gone, because with the summer the cases in Western countries drop, society reopens, and people stop getting vaccinated. Then in October or November comes a uglier variant, perhaps from Thailand, Madagascar or Argentina, and we are all discovered “, he warns. Is the Italian line of the Green Pass right? “It serves to tell people this. The vaccinated person can become infected, but suffers a mild disease and does not create hospital discomfort. If you do not understand it, I will explain it to you by preventing you from going to a restaurant, stadium or cinema – says the virologist – That’s right ? It would have been nicer if we all had spontaneously vaccinated ourselves, but if that doesn’t happen, the most serious consequences must be avoided. “What future awaits us? “A possible scenario is that every year, around June or July, an inventory is made, where the virus circulates, what are the variants. The appropriate RNA vaccines are quickly made with mass production, and then in October and November the campaign for inoculations, so you spend the winter with the maximum of antibodies. You are protected until April or May, and then the summer arrives which is calmer. And a model that already exists, it is not clear why it should unleash all these reactions “, he concludes.
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