US News: Omicron: a wave of speculation for very few Certibles

COVID-19: the predominant Omicron variant in South Africa, according to WHO

 COVID-19: the predominant Omicron variant in South Africa, according to WHO © AP - GBEMIGA Olamikan A healthy professional conducts a PCR test in Abuja, Nigeria, November 29, 2021, another country where The Omicron variant was detected. At a press conference, the World Health Organization (WHO) gave more information on the new Omicron variant that worries the entire planet.

Des employés de l'aéroport de Tokyo contrôlent les arrivées alors que de nouvelles mesures sanitaires ont été annoncées, le 29 novembre 2021 © Philip Fong Employees at Tokyo airport control arrivals while new sanitary measures were announced on 29 November 2021

Omicron, a turning point in the COVID-19 crisis? Too early to say, insist many researchers, after several days of hazardous speculation on the real risks of this new varying in the profile certainly disturbing.

"I hope we can approach (...) Omicron with empiricism, caution and humility, instead of pure speculation in recent days," said Twitter Canadian Infectiologist Isaac Bogoch, during a weekend End marked by a breaking of assumptions around this recently detected variant in South Africa.

Omicron variant: 2,000 people in quarantine after two cases in a Swiss school

 Omicron variant: 2,000 people in quarantine after two cases in a Swiss school According to the Swiss authorities, "This is the first measure of this magnitude" since the proven presence of Omicron, but still reduced to a handle case, in the country this week. © Provided by FranceInfo Drastic measurement in Geneva (Switzerland). Some 2,000 people, of which 1,600 children were placed in quarantine after the discovery of two cases of the variant OMICRON on one of the very famous Geneva International School, announced the Swiss health authorities Thursday, December 2.

Test PCR conduit à l'aéroport de Johannesbourg, le 27 novembre 2021 © Phill Magakoe PCR Test leads to Johannesburg airport, November 27, 2021

What is, for the moment, some? This variant has an exceptionally large number of mutations and are concentrated on a portion, the "Spike" protein, which is the virus input key in the body.

These genetic characteristics make it fears, on the theoretical level, that this variant is more contagious and better resists vaccines than its predecessors.

It is "a very high risk" at the global level, as judged on Monday the World Health Organization (WHO). Several countries, such as Israel and Japan, have already closed their borders.

But WHO also emphasizes how much one still ignores everything about the contagiousness and the actual severity of this variant, after several days of contradictory information, sometimes reassuring and sometimes alarmist.

Omicron variant: a first suspect case detected in Germany

 Omicron variant: a first suspect case detected in Germany © Paul Zinken / DPA / DPA Picture-Alliance via AFP Germany, Covid-19, Variant Omicron, a near the Belgium , where a first proven case of Omicron variant has been reported, the Germany could in turn be already contaminated by the new South African variant that worries. A suspect case, detected in a person recently returned from South Africa , has indeed been identified, announced on Saturday the regional authorities of the State of Hesse (West).

In the first category, remarks held by a South African doctor - and collected Sunday by AFP - reported "light symptoms", leaving some commentators hypothesize a more contagious but less dangerous variant.

"Really it's much too early to say that," said Monday French Infectiologist Yazdan Yazdanpanah, at a conference organized by the Scientific Council who advises the government in the health crisis.

"As for gravity, we have for the moment very few elements," he insisted, stressing that it was impossible to draw conclusions from an isolated testimony.

Other elements, on the other hand, raise anxiety. It is primarily the explosion of the number of cases in South Africa: this is about to pass the 10,000 cases a day, according to the South African epidemiologist Salim Abdool Karim Monday.

Is it in the sense of particularly high contagiousness of Omicron? Again, it's too early to say, according to researchers, who note that other local elements can play.

COVID-19: Emmanuel Macron received its

 COVID-19: Emmanuel Macron received its Reminder Dose © Thomas COEX / AFP The Head of State announced on his Twitter account having received his VVID-19 vaccine recall dose at the same time as that against seasonal influenza. The health authorities beat the reminder of vaccination while the threat of the Omicron variant places on Europe. This Monday morning, Emmanuel Macron said on his Twitter account have received his VVID-19 vaccine recall dose. The head of state also received his vaccine against seasonal flu.

- The strategy does not change -

South Africa is thus little vaccinated - less than a quarter of the population - which makes its inhabitants more vulnerable to infection. Above all, the delta variant, currently very dominant in Europe, is little present, which suggests an integral doubt about Omicron's ability to take its place.

"The circumstances of emergence and movement of the Omicron variant in South Africa are not the same" in Europe, noted, alongside Mr. Yazdanpanah, the French epidemiologist Arnaud Fontanet. "It is very difficult to compare the momentum that could be between different countries."

As for the resistance to the vaccine, it will be necessary to wait two or three weeks to have first elements as to the ability of the human body to generate antibodies facing this variant. And several months to get an idea of ​​the actual effectiveness of vaccines against omicron contamination.

For the moment, researchers insist on a point: the strategy of fighting current variants, especially Delta, remains a priori the good, even with the appearance of Omicron.

In other words, in full epidemic wave in Europe, including in France, it is necessary to pursue the widest possible vaccination, in any case in adults, and continue to respect barrier gestures such as the port of the mask.

published Monday, new forecasts of the French Pasteur Institute - which do not logically take into account Omicron in view of the many uncertainties - believe that the good respect for these gestures can considerably reduce a wave of hospitalizations at the top planned for early 2022 .

"We probably do not have a huge effort," the AFP explained the Simon Cauchemez modelizer.

"We need to be more attentive, Teletravel a little more ... it can really make the difference," he concludes, while his study also emphasizes the importance of the current campaign Anti-Covid vaccination reminder.

JDY / ITO / May / VK

Variant Omicron: Israel Closes its borders with foreign nationals .
© Valery Hache Israel had reopened its borders to foreigners vaccinated on November 1, a provision that has barely held a month, questioning by the appearance of the Omicron variant. AFP / ACK GUEZ Israel will prohibit from Sunday night the entry of foreign nationals on its territory in the hope of slowing the spread of the new variant of the coronavirus Omicron, one case has been confirmed in the country, announced authorities.

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