Two strains Amicron have been identified as “care options” that could dominate this summer, health officials have warned.

The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) the report says options BA.4 and BA.5 could lead to an increase in Covid cases across the continent, threatening additional pressure on hospitals and intensive care units for weeks and months. He added that countries should be vigilant due to the fact that new options are emerging.

The warning came at a time when continent countries are trying to live with minimal restrictions and enjoy summer vacations across Europe. The ECDC also advised people over 80 to “immediately” switch to second Covid therapy, adding that countries should plan for people over 60 and other vulnerable groups to receive second therapy.

Both BA.4 and BA.5 were first detected in South Africa in January and February 2022 respectively, and since then they have become the dominant options there, the report warns. The predominance of growth for BA.4 and BA.5 is currently observed, probably due to its ability to evade immune protection caused by previous infection or vaccination.

ECDC says new options showed no difference in severity compared to previous options

(PA)

The Portuguese National Institutes of Health estimated that as of May 8, 2022, BA.5 had already accounted for more than a third (37 percent) of positive cases in the country. The expected advantage of BA.5’s daily growth over the previously dominant BA option. 2 is 13 per cent, similar to the 12 per cent daily growth advantage previously reported by South Africa. With this growth rate BA.5 will become the dominant option in Portugal in less than a week.

However, the report says that at present “there are no signs of a change in the severity of B.A4 / BA.5 compared to previous Omicron lines”.

“The availability of these options could cause a significant overall increase in Covid-19 cases in the EU / EEA in the coming weeks and months,” the ECDC said.

“The overall share of BA.4 and BA.5 in the EU / EEA is currently low, but the high growth benefits reported indicate that these options will become dominant in the EU / EEA in the coming months.

“However, as in previous waves, if the number of Covid-19 cases increases significantly, there will likely be some hospital admissions and resuscitation. The ECDC urges countries to remain vigilant in response to BA.4 and BA.5 signals. “

It adds: “For all age groups, the priority remains to improve the absorption of the Covid-19 vaccine in the primary course and the first booster dose in populations that have not yet received them.”

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimates that 1.2 million, or 45 people in England, were carriers of the virus on any day of the week before 7 May, a quarter less than the previous week.

This is the fifth week in a row that the weekly Infections Survey, conducted by the ONS, reports a drop in cases from week to week.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/omicron-variant-concern-covid-b2078943.html

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