Forecast experts see a slight downward trend in infections in Austria

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Experts at the Covid forecasting consortium expect a further slight downward trend in infection figures in the coming week.

However, slight increases are also possible within the fluctuation range. According to Wednesday’s update, above-average temperatures may have been responsible for the previous week’s noticeable decline in infections. The two-week forecast for hospital-acquired disorders also indicates a slight decrease.

Last Wednesday, experts had assumed that infection numbers were most likely to remain stable (on average) through the week, with a seven-day incidence per 100,000 population of about 400 cases, possibly into the summer. On Tuesday, the figure was now around 320.

“Currently, seasonal effects have a dampening effect on the incidence of infection,” emphasized the experts from TU Wien, MedUni Vienna, and Gesundheit Österreich GmbH (GÖG), looking back at the past forecast. Moreover, the case forecast was outside the 68 percent confidence interval only in Vienna, Lower Austria, and Burgenland. “While the predicted stagnation occurred in most of the provinces, there were substantial decreases, especially in the eastern provinces,” it noted.

“On the other hand, the decline in immune protection acquired through vaccination or recovery has an infection-driving effect. In the medium term, it can be assumed that the second effect will dominate,” the experts also warned of possible increases in the number of infections again.

A seven-day incidence in the range of 240 to 390 cases per 100,000 population is expected next Wednesday, with 300 as the mean. The lowest incidence is expected in Styria (200 to 330) and the highest incidence in Burgenland (290 to 470).

The virus variants BA.4/BA.5 and BA.2.12 have been classified as variants of concern by the EU disease control agency ECDC. According to international observational data, these mutations are likely to have growth advantages over their predecessors. However, the researchers explained that they have not yet been detected in Austria in sufficient numbers to be relevant to the present prognosis.

In regular wards, a decrease from 682 to a mean of 468 infected individuals is expected from May 17 to June 1. The experts estimate that covid intensive care patients should decrease from 58 to 38 within the next two weeks. However, due to the current meager numbers of exposures, usual weekday fluctuations could lead to high relative deviations.

  • source: k.at/picture: pixabay.com
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