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COVID-19: WHO monitors two new lineages of the omicron variant

» ProSalud

La World Health Organization has reported this Monday that it is following two new lineages of the omicron variant (BA.4 and BA.5), whose “additional mutations must be further studied to understand their impact on the potential for immune escape.”

The UN agency is collaborating with scientists to better understand their current spread, as well as any potential impacts they may have.

So far, according to the data held by this organization, only a few dozen sequences of these variants have been reported in a handful of countries.

In order to continue the proper evolution of the pandemic, WHO encourages countries to continue monitoring the virus and to quickly share data on the platform GISID, which allows us to have a better understanding of the virus, including its new lineages.

The WHO emergency committee analyzes the evolution of the pandemic

Precisely, today the Organization's Emergency Committee met to study the evolution of the coronavirus pandemic and issue recommendations to the States.

At the opening meeting, the Director General of the Organization, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Gebreyesus, said that “it is gratifying to see a downward trend in recorded deaths (by COVID-19), which last week were the lowest in the last two years.”

However, Tedros has repeated that the pandemic “is far from over".

Transmission remains very high and vaccination coverage remains very low in too many countries and the relaxation of many social and public health measures is allowing transmission to continue, with the risk of new variants emerging, Tedros explained.

And he added that “COVID-19 is now affecting countries in very different ways.” In countries with high population immunity, there is a dissociation between cases, hospitalizations and deaths; in others with less access to vaccines, The massive increase in cases has led to a large number of hospitalizations and even a higher number of deaths compared to previous waves.

As the pandemic just enters its third year, the director is concerned about three factors. First of all, the tiredness of the population. Second, the duration of immunity arising from previous vaccination or infection remains unclear. And third, we cannot predict how the virus will evolve.

Despite the uncertainties, he recalled that the world has the tools to limit transmission, save lives and protect health systems: “We have the systems to better understand the virus as it changes, and we have the vaccines, tests, treatments and social and public health measures to end the acute phase of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

A little over a week ago, the World Health Organization presented its third update of the Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan for COVID-19, in which it observed three possible evolutions of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus: one, the most probable ; another, the most benign, and the last, the most feared.

The most plausible scenario is that the virus continues to evolve, but that the severity of the disease it causes reduces over time as immunity increases due to vaccination and infection.

The second possibility is the best of the possible cases: the emergence of less serious variants against which booster doses or new vaccine formulas are not necessary.

However, the third scenario is the worst possible, the emergence of a more virulent and highly transmissible variant.

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Yair Ramirez
Currency / Currency
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