Covid: first signs of an upturn. ‘Fast mutation virus’

After a phase of decline, the Covid-19 infection curve in Italy again shows signs of an upsurge in various parts of the national territory. A trend that coincided with the resumption of work activities in September and with the reopening of schools, and which experts invite not to underestimate. This is also because, he warned Marco Cavalerihead of vaccines and Covid therapeutic products of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the SarsCoV2 virus “is mutating at breakneck speed, it continues to do so and we must expect that there will still be several mutations in the coming months”.

Outlining a possible picture of the epidemic trend in the coming months, Cavaleri explained that “we are actually emerging from the pandemic but the virus is still unpredictable. We all want to be optimistic and we have built an ever-increasing immunity in the population, but in view of the Autumn we need more prudence “, he warned, underlining the importance of the next vaccination campaigns and reiterating that all adapted vaccines approved by Ema they are also effective against the Omicron variant and it is therefore “useless to speculate about which one to use”.

At this stage, he continued, “it is important to think about targeted revaccinations, that is for the elderly, the frail and pregnant women: these categories must revaccinate themselves with adapted vaccines, no matter which one to use because they are all effective, and now it is the time to do it because we are entering the cold season and there will be a new wave of Covid “. When fully operational, next year, “we hope to get anti-Covid vaccination once a year as for the flu, and for the categories most at risk”. As for the possibility of carrying out the Covid and influenza vaccination at the same time this year, Cavaleri confirms this possibility; however, he stresses that the new Covid wave “will be in October-November, so it is left to individual countries to decide how to manage vaccinations, that is, whether to do them together or start with the Covid one and then do the flu one. However, anticipating Covid vaccination may be the right choice – he warns – because we do not know what will happen “.

And news are also coming for children: in October, Cavaleri announced, the aim is to approve the vaccine adapted also for the 5-11 age group and the EMA intends to approve the primary vaccination for children under-5 shortly. . Also in October, the EMA could also give the ok to the Sanofi Pasteur vaccine based on traditional protein technology but adapted to variants, as an alternative to vaccines adapted to mRna.

A warning to caution also came today from US President Joe Biden: “The pandemic is over but we still have a problem with Covid,” he warned. As for the picture of the epidemic in Italy, experts indicate warning signs. In fact, it slows down the descent of the curves of cases and hospitalizations. More precisely, the curves of the percentage of positive cases in molecular tests and hospitalizations in ordinary wards are in a phase of stasis and slowed decrease, at national level, while in some regions growth is observed, according to the analyzes of the mathematician Giovanni Sebastiani of the Cnr. “The cause – he observes – is probably linked to the resumption of work activities at the beginning of September”.

Also Cesare Cislaghi, former president of the Italian Society of Epidemiology, highlights a resumption of infections “in more than half of the Regions: this tells us that the circulation of the virus is not running out, at least in the short term”. Signs of concern also come from the latest Agenas survey, according to which, after the decline of recent days, in the last 24 hours, the percentage of beds occupied by Covid patients in hospital wards has stopped at 5% in Italy, while always at the national level, the percentage of intensive care units employed is also stable, standing at 2%. The daily data of the Ministry of Health indicate instead that there are 8,259 new infections in the last 24 hours (yesterday 12,082). The victims are 31 (yesterday 32) and the rate is 12.2%, stable. In hospitals, on the other hand, 151 patients are hospitalized in intensive care, 6 fewer than yesterday, and 3,493 (+73) hospitalized in ordinary wards.

by Manuela Correra

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Covid: first signs of an upturn. ‘Fast mutation virus’

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