The rise in new Corona infections in Austria was already apparent at the end of May.
This is now confirmed in the current Covid forecast. The consortium expects a further increase in cases in the coming week. The adequate reproduction number is again above one at 1.05, and the proportion of virus variants BA.4/5 continues to rise and is currently at 16 percent. This more infectious sub-variant already has a reproductive number of 1.44.
The Wednesday update of TU Vienna, MedUni Vienna, and Gesundheit Österreich GmbH (GÖG) model calculators expects a seven-day incidence of 246 to 405 cases per 100,000 inhabitants next Wednesday, with 307 cases assumed as the mean value. The lowest incidence is expected in Styria (120-200) and the highest incidence in Vienna (400-660). Currently, the incidence is 220. On June 15, the experts expect almost 4,000 new daily infections.
According to the experts, the recent increase was expected for some time due to the declining immunity of the Austrian population – the BA.2 immunity rate is currently estimated at 61 percent – but the speed of the current trend reversal cannot be explained by this alone. Specifically, according to AGES, the effective reproduction number increased from 0.83 (May 25, 2022) to 1.05 (June 4, 2022) over the past ten days. One hundred infected people infect an average of 105 people with the coronavirus. According to the experts, the increase can be attributed to several factors.
For example, the proportion of virus variants BA.4/5 continues to increase. However, increases also occurred in states with comparatively low BA.4/5 prevalence. Due to more frequent events and increased travel around the holidays of the past weeks, the contact behavior has changed, i.e., more contacts are retaking place. Also, the loosening steps – the Aus of the mask obligation and school tests – also affect this direction. However, the researchers emphasized that none of the explanatory factors mentioned can be singled out as the cause of this dynamic.
The growth advantage of the BA.4/5 variants over the preceding variants is currently estimated at around 50 percent. The variant-specific reef is 1.44 (within weeks 20-22). This means that 100 infected people infect 144 more people. During the same period, the effective reproduction number of BA.2 increased from 0.86 to 0.96, the experts explain.
The increase also impacts hospitals; after the last decline, the experts expect increased covid patients again. A decrease in critically ill patients is also likely in intensive care units. The two-week-ahead pavement forecast assumes an increase in normal wards from 479 patients on Tuesday to 539 (mean) on June 22. In the ICUs, the number of beds occupied by infected patients is expected to decrease from 42 to a standard of 39 during this period. The exposure projection does not distinguish between persons whose hospitalization is causally attributable to Covid-19 and persons who were initially hospitalized for another diagnosis.
- source: k.at/picture: pixabay.com
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