Mosialos: Homicron is much more contagious

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Professor of Health Policy at the London School of Economics reports on the latest known evidence for the Omicron mutation

Initially in his post Mr. Mosialos admits that the data known so far are not sufficient for complete conclusions, however he stands once again in need of vaccination.

Specifically refers to a research of his University Hong Kong, where it is supported that the Homicron mutation is multiplied 70 times faster in human loop but can cause lower disease.

Details of what he wrote:

“We now know that Omicron is transmitted much faster, but we do not yet know the severity of the infections it causes. It is likely to cause more infections with mild symptoms compared to Delta. But the important thing is if it causes more serious infections.

To know this we need to compare the impact of Omicron on the unvaccinated compared to Delta on the unvaccinated. And we do not have this data yet.

But we have new laboratory data for Omicron. An announcement today from LKS Medical School at the University of Hong Kong (HKUMed) provides the first information on how Omicron infects the human respiratory tract.

The researchers investigated how Homicron infects cells, using human lung tissue as an experimental model for culturing the virus. The results showed that 24 hours after infection, Omicron multiplies much faster than the Delta variant that currently dominates. This may explain why Omicron can be transmitted much more easily between people than in previous variants.

The results, however, also showed that the infection that Omicron causes in the lung is significantly lower than the original strain of the coronavirus. This, if true, could be an indication of lesser disease severity.

Which of course we hope will be confirmed both clinically and epidemiologically. To this study to add something that had interested me. It concerns a statement as early as December 2, from the National Laboratory of Virology, at the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer, Israel. The director of the laboratory, Professor Ella Mendelson, had reported that they were trying to culture the virus from the clinical samples to reproduce in cell cultures and they were delayed. “At the moment we are still waiting Ό Omicron does not multiply very fast in crops, and is reminiscent of the British [άλφα] variant, which also multiplied more slowly in the cells “, he had said then.

But we need to understand what that means. The severity of the disease in someone who will catch the virus is determined not only by the reproduction of the virus, but also by the immune response of the person who contracted it. As we have seen, in very serious cases, it can lead to the well-known immune overreaction, the cytokine storm. And as we have said many times, one variant of the virus can cause both serious illness and death, although it may be less infectious or pathogenic than another variant of the same virus.

Therefore, in conjunction with recent studies showing that the Omicron variant may partially escape the protection afforded by vaccines or past infections, the overall threat, both individually and to the health system, has not been eliminated.

And of course, to emphasize that vigilance is needed even if these results are valid. Because with Omicron many more will stick with Delta, and there will probably be a burden on the health system. “The longer we delay the spread of Omicron, the better for all of us.”

See also: Giannakos: We do not take word for what we said about VIP ICUs

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