Pirola variant: Austria experiences biggest corona wave now

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You notice it in the office, with your family, or even on the subway. A particularly large number of people in Austria are currently ill. Last week, around 42,000 people were on sick leave with COVID-19. And that’s just the confirmed figure; the number of unreported cases will likely be even higher.

In fact, wastewater monitoring shows that the current coronavirus wave is higher than ever. Never before since the pandemic outbreak have there been so many coronavirus infections. Analysis of the wastewater also clarifies why so many people are currently infected: Pirola is a new variant of Omikron.

Vienna and Lower Austria are the hardest hit, but the other federal states have not been spared either.

The peak of the current wave has probably not yet been reached; the curve is pointing steeply upward. Immunologist Andreas Bergthaler explains on Ö1-Morgenjournal that the trend has risen sharply recently. “This is a wave that has probably not yet been seen in this form during the pandemic,” says Bergthaler. It is also clear that the particularly contagious Pirola variant is continuing to grow. This variant currently accounts for around 35 percent of infections. It can be assumed that the variant will continue to increase and spread, which could mean that the current wave will be with us even longer.

Back to measures plus virological weather map
Infection is becoming more likely for everyone. As a result, immunologist Bergthaler advises people to take their own personal protective measures, such as wearing masks, using easier testing options, and taking advantage of the vaccination offer. Recently, the number of doses vaccinated has been “vanishingly low.” Another suggestion from Bergthaler: He would like to see a kind of virological weather map on which current data could be prepared, and it would be easy to see when and where (regions, indoor spaces) the infection risk is particularly high. According to Bergthaler, the EU is also trying to achieve this. This could also be considered for influenza and RSV. However, this would require particularly up-to-date and accurate infection data.
However, hospitals are not currently expected to be overloaded.

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