Covid, the Omicron variant: a warning from an epidemiologist from Seine-et-Marne

Covid, the Omicron variant: a warning from an epidemiologist from Seine-et-Marne

Dr Sylvain Diamantis, infectious disease specialist from the Sud-Ile-de-France hospital group ©GHSIF

Republic of Seine-et-Marne: The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated that the world is in a strong position to end Covid. While everyone is talking about the 8th wave, isn’t it paradoxical?

Dr. Sylvain Diamantis : The Covid episode is clearly not over. The virus circulates and will continue to do so, like many other pathologies. We will enter the endemic phase, that is, the virus will circulate continuously. Throughout the summer, we examined positive patients, who, however, were often asymptomatic. Since the beginning of the month, we have again had patients hospitalized with pneumonia and respiratory infections associated with the coronavirus. In Seine-et-Marne, the numbers show a slight recovery, but something is clearly going on.

Should we be worried about the new BA.2.75.2 variant? Does it circulate in Seine-et-Marne?

We follow strict protocols when detecting variants. For now, the BA.5 variant (omicron) is predominant. We don’t have enough hindsight with this new variant to say whether or not it’s being created in the department.

Drawing. ©JVC/RSM77

So how to limit the spread?

We do not have an altruistic vision of society like in Asian countries. In France, people wear a mask to avoid contamination, not to protect others. A more collective approach is needed to limit contamination: in case of large gatherings or indoors, you must wear a mask and wash your hands well.

Basic hygiene rules are often not followed, especially in transport, where people cough without mouth protection. We need to put on the mask, especially when it seems that the epidemic will break out again. You must continue to live normally, but respect the basic rules: wash your hands, wear a mask in case of symptoms, etc.

What about vaccinations?

You must get vaccinated. This summer there was less contamination and antibody levels dropped as a result. Artificial immunity must be restarted once the bivalent vaccines arrive. They cover the historical strain of the coronavirus, but also the BA4 and BA5 omicron variants. Children, adults, we need to encourage everyone to maintain a social life.

This article appeared in Republic of Seine-et-Marne dated 26 September 2022 as part of the file on Covid in Seine-et-Marne.

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