Although the rate of admissions due to covid-19 has increased in recent days in South Africa, the country where the new variant was first detected, “this could be the a result of a general increase in infected people, and not just of specific infections with the Omicron variant”, says a communiqué from the WHO advisory expert group for monitoring the evolution of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. of the first reported Omicron variant infections are in college students, “young people who tend to suffer milder forms of the disease”, the experts noted. days or weeks”.Experts added that the variant appears to increase the risk of reinfection (the chance that a person who already had covid-19 will contract the disease again), but that “it is not yet clear whether it is more contagious “. Regarding the response of treatments against covid-19, scientists observed that corticosteroids and interleukin-6 (IL6) antagonists appear to continue to be effective in critically ill patients, with no conclusions yet regarding the response of existing vaccines to the variant Omicron.Omicron, whose first cases were detected 15 days ago and which is a cause for concern due to the more than 30 mutations that have been identified, was considered a “concern variant” by the WHO expert group on Friday, requiring special monitoring by laboratories around the world. Covid-19 has caused at least 5,193,392 deaths worldwide, among more than 260.44 million new coronavirus infections recorded since the start of the pandemic, according to the latest France-Presse agency balance sheet. In Portugal, since March 2020, 18,417 people have died and 1,142,707 cases of infection have been recorded, according to data from the General Directorate of Health. The disease is caused by coronaví rus SARS-CoV-2, detected in late 2019 in Wuhan, a city in central China.

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