Omicron Subvariants are quickly spreading Also known as BA.4 & BA.5Health officials in Europe say that the coronavirus is causing a surge in summertime cases of the virus in Europe. This is despite the fact that most Covid policies have been removed since spring, and that a more relaxed approach towards the pandemic has taken place during the warmer months.
The number of known European cases rose to 57 per 100,000 on Wednesday, from 33 per day per 100,000 two weeks ago. The Center for Systems Science and Engineering, Johns Hopkins University. That is the sharpest increase — a rise of about 70 percent — of any region of the world over the same period.
It is as follows: The summer travel season in European CountriesThe region is experiencing a boom in movement due to warmer weather and less restrictive coronavirus policies.
BA.4 & BA.5 may be able to evade certain antibodies from previous infections or vaccines. Research suggests that subvariants of BA.4 & BA.5 do not appear to cause more severe disease. BA.5 is Already dominantAccording to federal estimates, it is the only one among all new U.S. cases.
Dr. Michael Ryan, the executive director of the World Health Organization’s Health Emergencies Program, On Wednesday, that the wave hitting Europe now could be worse than it seems and pointed to what he called “almost a collapse in testing” that could be obscuring the true spread of the virus.
Dr. Ryan added that while many European countries have seen an uptick in hospitalizations, “what we’re not seeing is an increase in intensive care unit admissions, so the vaccines are still very much working.”
Although most of the world has abandoned mandatory pandemic safety precautions, there are some areas that have reversed their course. Friday saw the Mediterranean island of CyprusIndoor mask mandates have been reinstated. And on Monday, France’s fifth-largest city, Nice, This will be required masks on public transportation, which goes further than the central government’s recommendation. However, Austria has recently been thrown outIt was not enforced by a vaccine mandate.
The New York Times was told by Professor Lawrence S. Young (virologist, professor of molecular cancerology at the University of Warwick) that he doesn’t believe that Britain will reintroduce masking restrictions. He does see exceptions in hospitals where mandatory mask-wearing has been reintroduced recently as the number of cases has increased.
Dr. Young believes that pandemic fatigue is now a reality for most Britons. “I think this idea of trying to persuade people to take personal responsibility is not working,” he said.
FranceAnd Cyprus join Austria, Britain, Germany, Greece, Italy?, and SwitzerlandAccording to the University of Oxford’s Our World in Data Project, these are the most popular spots. On Thursday, Sweden’s health minister, Lena Hallengren, Not noted at a news conference that cases were rising “even though we are in the middle of the summer.”
Dr. Ryan explained that although transmission should be easier because people spend more time outdoors, there has been an increase in crowded events like concerts. Extremely hot temperaturesPeople can also be driven indoors.
The cases in Portugal rose sharply because of the higher vaccination rates than in the United States. After BA.5 became dominantHospitalizations reached their Omicron peak in May. But they have since declined.
The European Medicines Agency, the European Union’s main drug regulator, ThursdayIt is possible that the number of confirmed cases in the region will remain high for several more weeks. The BA.4/BA.5 are expected to be the dominant players in the area by the end July. This is a very accurate assessment. A recent prediction was echoedThe European Center for Disease Prevention and Control.
“We are in a much better position than we were in previous waves of infections,” said Dr. Marco Cavaleri, head of vaccine strategy at the European Medicines Agency, adding that vaccinations have helped.
Dr. Cavaleri stated that the agency had already begun to review emerging data regarding vaccines with new compositions. The agency was working to approve updated vaccines by September. It was impossible to predict the exact virus version that would be in circulation by the fall so the agency was still in contact and considering the best strategy.
“For the time being we still think it’s very good to keep all options open,” Dr. Cavaleri said. Federal regulators in the United States are responsible for regulating the economy. We have recommended to vaccine manufacturers that boosters be updated.To target BA.4/BA.5, in preparation for a fall booster program.
Dr. Young also looks forward to fall. “I think there’s a worry about there being a perfect storm over the autumn, winter with new variants, which are almost inevitable, of Covid, flu and other respiratory infections,” he said.
The European Medicines Agency and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control are both part of the European Medicines Agency. It is recommended that anyone over 80 receive a second boosterFor those over 60, a second booster is available if the infection rate rises. Both Dr. Cavaleri and Dr. Cavaleri discussed Thursday whether they will recommend a booster to the public more widely.
Alain DelaquérièreAnd Sarah CahalanContributed reporting