One month after its first appearance in France, the Omicron variant is spreading “very quickly” in the country. The symptoms may seem milder than the symptoms of the delta variant, but its rapid progression is causing concern among authorities. Scientific information about this variant is still limited. Origin, infection, risk, symptoms, resistance to vaccines. France Blue takes what we know and what we do not know yet Variation Omicron.
P.1.1.529 Where does the variant come from?
The Omicron variant was first spotted in Botswana on November 11, before spreading to many countries in South Africa, including South Africa. On November 11, it was reported to the World Health Organization. He then moved to North America and Europe. The first case of Omigran was discovered in France Identified on Reunion Island, End of November. It is about a man who went to Africa and returned.
What are its characteristics?
The uniqueness of the Omigron variant is that it has more mutations than other Covit-19 variants. Omicron has fifty mutations, including only 32 In spike protein. This protein allows SARS-CoV-2 to enter our cells and attach to themselves. These mutations are likely to increase the ability of the virus to infect organisms better. In comparison, the delta variant has 9 mutations.
How is it spread?
The Omigran variant is spread just like any other type, i.e. by small secretions released into the air. So it can spread through sneezing, coughing or talking to very close people for a certain amount of time. Compared to the delta variant, the Omicron propagates much faster.
Is it more dangerous than the delta variant?
Although the Omigran variant is more contagious than previous variants, it appears to be less dangerous. “Its prevalence is very high and its intensity is probably low, but we do not know to what extent“, Thursday, December 23, Jean-François Delfraissy, President of the Science Council.
According to the first observations made abroad, the symptoms appear to be milder than those of the delta variant. Numerous studies in South Africa, Scotland and the UK have shown that Omigron is less hospitalized than the Delta variant. According to an analysis by the British Health Safety Agency, the risk of being hospitalized with the Omigron variant is reduced by up to 70% compared to the Delta: the risk of hospitalization by Omigron sufferers is 50 to 70% lower.
What are the rules of isolation?
Like other types of corona virus, Omicron can be detected in a positive condition by sequencing, following a PCR test. The isolation rules for the Omigron variant vary, Described in Health Insurance. Therefore, even if you have been vaccinated, if you are positive and the presence of the Omicron variant is confirmed, or if you have been in contact with a person who is positive for Omicron, you should isolate yourself for seven days. If the patient you are in contact with belongs to your family, the isolation period can last up to 17 days.
However these isolation rules may develop based on the rise of Omicron. The Science Council fears it will. “Millions of cases“Every day for the next month, there will be a large number of strikes and non-attendance. It will be possible.”To cause problems in the strategic areas of operation of our company“, The Science Council warned on Thursday, December 23rd. He is concerned about “the disorder of social life” and key sectors such as food distribution, health, safety, energy, education or transportation.
Many voices are raised in fear that the community will be paralyzed by this widespread variation. To avoid such a situation, the Minister of Health is considering changing the rules of isolation, especially in communication cases. Oliver Vernon calls on the Science Council to establish recommendations. “New isolation measures“For treatment”Omicron Variation We give milk to the delta variant“.
When will France become a majority?
The Omigron variant represents 10.3% of positive tests for the corona virus on December 18. In a few weeks, it spread at an astounding pace. This week, approx 20% of positive Govt-19 cases came under Omigron, According to the administration. Therefore, this variation should very quickly become a majority across the national territory. According to a government spokesman, the Omigron variant may dominate France between Christmas and New Year.Unfortunately we are enjoying the beginning of the Omigron wave“, Wednesday, December 22 Gabriel Attle warned.
Omicron already dominates many countries, such as the United States, Denmark or the United Kingdom.
Are vaccines effective against this variant?
The question arises more and more in the face of the arrival of witnesses from those already infected with the corona virus. This is explained by mutations in the Omigron variant: they allow the antibody against the virus to weaken. According to a December 17 study by Imperial College London, the risk of recurrence after being infected with the corona virus is 5.4 times higher in Omigran than in Delta. Vaccines lose their effectiveness over time. According to a recent study by the British agency UKHSA, the protection provided by vaccines wears off rapidly, reducing the booster dose by 15 to 25% after ten weeks of administration.
On the other hand, the Omigron variant is more responsive to the vaccine booster. Published by CNBC, according to a British study, The third dose of Pfizer BioNTech vaccine is 70% effective against the risk of mild infection of the Omicron variant.
Research firm ANRS / Emerging Infectious Diseases confirms this Friday that many synthetic antibody treatments will not work against Omicron. This is especially true for the treatment of Regeneron and Roche laboratories used in France.
What are the implications for hospitals?
The important question is currently unanswered. If the Omigran variant is less likely to cause severe forms in patients, it is more contagious. “And even a relatively small proportion of hospital admissions can result in a significant number of serious illnesses.“Jenny Harris, director general of the British Health Security Agency, explains that Omigron is highly contagious, and that its high prevalence does not compensate for its low level of risk.”Although Omigron causes less severe symptoms, the number of cases may again overwhelm unprepared health systems“For example, the director-general of the World Health Organization, Tetros Adanom Caprais, warns.