The omicron variant of COVID-19 continues to expand at breakneck speed and is already the virus with the fastest spreading in history, according to an investigation by the Massachusetts General Hospital, in the United States, which has been reported in the newspaper The country
According to the calculations of this group of researchers, if we compare to omicron measles, which until now was one of the most contagious viruses that circulated, a case of measles would give rise to 15 cases at 12 days while a case of omicron would originate another 36 cases at eight days and 216 at 12 days if one takes into account the days that elapse since the first person has the capacity to infect until those infected by it also have it.
“It is an incredibly fast spread,” says Dr. Roby Bhattacharyya, an infectious disease expert at the hospital. However, the reality is that omicron is a world in which there is a high percentage of people vaccinated or have passed the virus. Thus, the doctor considers that each infected by the omicron infects only three other individuals, just like what the virus originating from Wuhan did.
“With current conditions, a simple exponential growth model would still show 14 million people infected in 60 days from a single case, compared to 760,000 with measles in a population without specific defenses,” Bhattacharyya warns. The country.
The medium also collects the opinion of more experts. “It seems that it is milder than the delta, but this is because the delta had evolved towards a greater gravity than its ancestor. The greater immunity seems the most logical explanation of the reduction of the gravity that is observed in the population”, says Aris Katzourakis, a virologist at the University of Oxford.
“It is time to prepare, to have health systems prepared. Even if it turns out that the virus at the individual level is slightly less serious than previous variants, the large number of cases can put enormous pressure on health systems,” adds the Irish epidemiologist Michael Ryan, director of the WHO emergency program. “It is the most explosive virus and the one with the fastest spread in history,” says historian and physician Anton Ekoreka.
According to a study in the US, infections could fall on January 9
Ómicron has invaded almost every corner of the planet in just a month and a speed never seen with other bloodlines, becoming the predominant variant throughout the world. Last Thursday, South Africa confirmed that it had passed the peak of infections and that this variant had caused fewer deaths and hospitalizations than the beta or delta. Now, a new study from Columbia University published in The New York Times, sheds new data on when contagions could be stopped in the United States.
The researchers suggest that the country could reach its peak of infections in mid-January, specifically on the 9th, reaching 2.5 million cases per week, although that figure may reach 5.4 million, according to the study. . “It is shocking. It’s disturbing, ”said Jeffrey Shaman, one of the experts who led the Columbia study. “We are seeing an unprecedented number of COVID cases,” he says.