The shortening of the generation time, as well as the incubation time, is likely to play a weighty role in the rapid spread of omicron. Generation time is the period of time during which a person becomes infected, the virus spreads in the body, and subsequently, other people can be infected. In the case of the delta variant of the coronavirus, this period was around five days; in the case of Omicron, it is around 2.5 days. This would therefore mean that if you are infected with Omicron, you become infectious more quickly. The incubation period is also likely to be shorter with Omicron, i.e. the period from infection until the first symptoms become noticeable.
Now a controversial study from Great Britain gives indications that at least the incubation period could have been shortened also already with earlier rampant variants of Sars-CoV-2. According to the study, experts from Imperial College London assume that the incubation phase of the coronavirus is on average two days. This means that, on average, symptoms already appeared two days after infection. The data do not refer to Omicron or Delta, but to earlier spread variants of the virus.
From infection to symptoms
The data were collected as part of a human challenge trial in which volunteers were infected with the coronavirus. Now, one year after the start of the study, the first results have been presented. These were published as a pre-print and have not yet been evaluated by other experts. “From a scientific point of view, these studies offer an advantage in that the timing of infection is known precisely and therefore things like the interval between contact and the nature of the viral load can be described accurately,” Jonathan Van-Tam, medical adviser to the British government, said Wednesday.
Among medical ethicists, human challenge studies are extremely controversial. The British study is believed to be the first in the world to conduct research in this way in the context of Covid-19. In the past, such a study design was used in the development of flu and malaria vaccines, for example. However, unlike in the British study, the test subjects were first administered a potential active ingredient.
- source: kleinezeitung.at/picture:pixabay.com
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