Guardian: Omicron heralds another bleak year or the beginning of the end of the pandemic?
The accelerating spread of “Omicron” – the new mutant of the emerging corona virus – has cast a shadow over the atmosphere of Christmas that came this year, in a scene reminiscent of what happened last year, when the appearance of the alpha mutant caused the cancellation of many aspects of the celebration of Christmas and New Year.
In the United Kingdom, the accelerating outbreak of Omicron caused people to cancel reservations in restaurants and clubs, and Britain seemed to be on the brink of another bleak year, with the Health Service warning once again that the country’s health sector may not be able to absorb the increasing numbers of people infected with the Corona virus from Those with serious symptoms, according to “The Guardian” newspaper (the Guardian) British.
The newspaper said that there is a remarkable similarity between what is happening at the end of this year and what happened last year, as the number of epidemic infections witnessed a significant increase due to the new mutation within a few weeks.
Despite this, the number of severe HIV infections that require hospitalization, as well as the number of deaths due to the epidemic, is still very low this year, while the latest research indicates that the symptoms of infection with the “Omicron” mutant appear to be less severe than those associated with the strains of the Corona virus that preceded it. .
Will the risk of corona decline in the future?
According to the Guardian report, many scientists believe that the evidence now indicates that the Corona virus may lose the ability to infect its victims with severe symptoms, and this belief is reinforced by recent studies conducted in Scotland, England and South Africa.
“I feel this mutant (Omicron) is the first step in the process of adapting the virus to humans so that the symptoms it causes are less severe,” the newspaper quoted Dr. Julian Tang, professor of respiratory sciences at Leicester University, as saying.
“This means that it is in the interest of the virus to affect people in a way that does not make them sick, because then they can circulate and mix with people and spread the virus more,” Tang adds.
Does Corona turn into a seasonal virus like the flu?
The newspaper report indicates that some health officials expect the Corona virus to become like the flu, and then this will require a new vaccine to deal with its new strains that appear annually.
But Professor Martin Heberd, a professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, believes that coronavirus strains, like viruses that cause colds, do not behave this way.
Heberd says that coronavirus mutants do not appear in the form of new strains annually, and that the reason for catching colds in the winter season is that our immunity against coronavirus strains does not last long. And he adds, “It seems that this virus (Corona) is very similar to viruses that cause colds, and we may need to think about giving anti-Coronavirus vaccines annually because the immunity (we have gained against it) will always decline.”