How common are the COVID 19 variants? A risky opening steps from February 8?

0 0
Spread the love
Read Time:4 Minute, 16 Second

AUSTRIA: According to geneticist Andreas Bergthaler, who also advises the government, the data to date show an east-west divide for the British “B.1.1.7” variant and large regional differences. The scientist is concerned, for example, about the Tyrolean cluster with the South African variant (“B.1.351”) – recently, numerous cases occurred in the district of Schwaz. In a random sample of almost 500 positively tested persons in TIrol, a B.1.1.7 proportion of around five percent was recently found, with 15 percent “B.1351”.

However, these are regional highlights and can certainly not be applied to every corner in Tyrol. However, Bergthaler said that other recent samples also show that the South African variant has become more widespread there: “You can see that these variants are relatively common in Tyrol. Otherwise, we see them only in isolated cases in Vienna.”

For Vienna, he said, we know at least of a sample that showed a proportion of around 15 percent among a group of people who tested positive. Also known is the 17 percent proportion in a wastewater sample in January. In Burgenland, the B.1.1.7 proportion among identified SARS-CoV-2 viruses increased from 1.7 to 37 percent in the first four calendar weeks, according to continuous analyses by AGES. The most striking value in Lower Austria is that from a wastewater treatment plant sample from Bad Vöslau with 71 percent among the SARS-CoV-2 viruses found there. Such wastewater samples allow a certain conclusion to be drawn about the regional distribution of the virus in society as a whole; from a sample formed from those testing positive, indications of the mutation proportion among those infected regionally can be derived.

In Styria, there are indications of a distribution share of the British variant of about one quarter. Overall, the curve in the east of the country in particular has recently been pointing upwards. The already known rapid increase in samples from the Salzach-Pongau wastewater treatment plant in Salzburg from zero percent on December 18 to 54 percent shortly after the turn of the year also fits into this picture. In Vorarlberg, on the other hand, evidence of B.1.1.7 has only been detected once in wastewater samples to date. The prevalence is therefore estimated at less than one percent.

? GERMANY: The targeted search for mutants has only recently been intensified, and reliable figures are not yet available. According to the RKI, there are first outbreaks with the mutants “B.1.1.7” and “B.1.351”. In any case, it is no longer only travelers who are affected: A Berlin hospital, for example, was quarantined. In addition, there were suspected cases in the Bayreuth hospital and in a Freiburg kindergarten.

Since in such cases contact persons of infected persons are specifically tested, hits reveal little about the spread in the entire population. It is true that mutant outbreaks can mean more cases in one fell swoop: But even with the old virus, there have been thousands of outbreaks in community settings.

❓ What’s next?
Geneticist Andreas Bergthaler: “There is much to suggest that the numbers are rising rapidly,” i.e. that the B.1.1.7 variant is establishing itself very quickly in the region. That suggests that “the previous lockdown works, but is not effective enough for variants with increased infectivity,” Bergthaler said on Twitter.

“What we have to keep a very strict eye on are introductions from outside, for example via travel,” said Bartenschlager, a virologist from Heidelberg. Herd immunity through consistent vaccination remained the key means to counter the pandemic, despite the variants. “How far we will get with this – whether we will achieve complete control in the sense of avoiding infections – cannot be conclusively said at the moment.”

What is clear is that the new virus variants are not the end. “We’ll still be worried this time next year about certain virus mutants that have changes again in other places,” German virologist Christian Drosten of Berlin’s Charité hospital recently predicted.

❓ How risky are the opening steps from February 8?
According to epidemiologist Gerald Gartlehner of Danube University Krems, one must look reality in the eye and note that the lockdown in Austria has recently no longer produced the desired effects. It would have been strongly to be feared that still larger parts of the population would not participate any longer, so the expert for evidence-based medicine. Nevertheless, he describes the announced opening steps from February 8 as an epidemiological “playing with fire” in which very close attention must be paid to further developments.

“The numbers continue to be high,” Gartlehner said. Almost more concerning, he said, is that the R-value is still only just below one – meaning that one infected person causes about one more case on average. If this value rises, the situation moves in the direction of exponential case development. “The danger that the whole thing will slip away from us again and that rapid growth will occur again is, of course, relatively high,” Gartlehner said.

  • sources: TT.com, APA, dpa/picture: pixabay.com

Happy
Happy
0 %
Sad
Sad
0 %
Excited
Excited
0 %
Sleepy
Sleepy
0 %
Angry
Angry
0 %
Surprise
Surprise
0 %

This post has already been read 657 times!

Related posts

Average Rating

5 Star
0%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%

Leave a Comment