Covid researchers are increasingly convinced that the Omicron variant will act as a natural vaccine for tens of millions of people around the world, as most infected people have no symptoms or are very mild, but their bodies still produce full antibodies.
Many countries, such as the United Kingdom, the United States, most of Europe and Asia, are currently seeing a record number of infections, but the number of hospitals is increasing little or not at all.
In South Africa, where Omicron was first detected in November, infection rates are falling rapidly and most experts believe the Omicron wave is over and other countries should expect the same cycle in the coming months.
A high level of infectivity combined with very mild symptoms can make Omicron a blessing in disguise, some Covid researchers claim. In fact, some go so far as to suggest that vaccination may no longer be needed, just get Omicron.
Dr. Vishal Sehgal, head of medical services at Portea MeMedical in India, said Indian times “Omicron acts as a natural vaccine and proves useful because it is less life-threatening.”
The end of the pandemic?
Several experts around the world are convinced that the world is currently seeing the tail history of a pandemic based on other viral epidemics.
Dr. Namita Jaggi of Artemis Hospitals, India, told several media outlets that “pandemics have traditionally been weakened by the introduction of options that are milder and milder until they eventually die.”
“So no, Omicron is not a concern, but we need to be optimistic that we are moving towards the end of the pandemic,” Jaggi said.
“We are moving towards the end of the pandemic”
Dr. Namita Jaggi
Nicanor Austriaco, a Filipino-American molecular biologist, also believes Covid may slowly kill itself with a milder variant of Omicron.
At a town hall meeting last week, he said Omicron-infected people have antibodies that “protect them against Delta, Gamma, Beta, Alpha and D614G variants.
“This variant is the beginning of the end of a pandemic that has crippled the global community for two years,” Austriaco said. PhilStar newspaper last week.
“As the virus multiplies rapidly, it tries to spread to everyone and tries to find as many vulnerabilities as possible. It spreads so fast that what you might expect will soon run out of “food.”
“And when it runs out of food, it starts to crash, which is what you see in South Africa, the numbers collapse.
“In London, the numbers start to fall just because it spreads like wildfire, and when all the trees are burned, it has nowhere to go. So it’s starting to crash. “
Austrian Nicanor Molecular biologist
“We need to understand that Omicron is the beginning of the end of a pandemic, because Omicron intends to provide the immunity of a population that should stabilize our societies and allow us to reopen,” Austriaco added.
In addition to this, pulmonologist Dr. Puneet Khanna said that “viruses tend to evolve toward a less serious strain that can be transmitted easily but that is less lethal.”
“It’s not in the best interest of the virus for people to get sick.”
Dr. Puneet Khanna
“Therefore, there is hope that in the future the strain will weaken and cause a mild, fairly common flu-like inflammation. But it must be remembered that viruses continue to mutate and so later versions can get even dangerous mutations or become even milder, Khanna said. Indian times.
Path out of Omicron
The latest figures from South Africa and several other countries could provide the rest of the world with a way out of Omicron, said Salim Abdool Karim, one of South Africa’s leading infectious disease researchers.
He is convinced that “every other country or almost every other follows the same path.” The number of new infections has been steadily declining over the last 30 days.
Karim, who led the pandemic in South Africa, also told various media that the peak of the Omicron wave has been passed and compared the wave of cases to the highest mountain in Africa.
“If previous versions caused waves like Kilimanjaro, my omicron is more than we would be scaling the northern surface of Everest,” Karim said, referring to the near-vertical rise in infections that South Africa experienced during the last weeks and first two weeks of November. December.
His peer, Dr. Angelique Coetzee, president of the South African Medical Association, a name familiar in South Africa, could no longer agree: the country is “over the curve and [infection] the numbers are much lower, “he said.
Looking at data from South Africa and the UK, Marc van Ranst, a Belgian professor of virology at the University of Leuven and the Rega Institute for Medical Research. said that “the omicron variant is less pathogenic but has a higher infectivity, allowing Omicron to replace Delta, which is very positive.”
“It is very important that we closely monitor the clinical data of Omicron patients in South Africa and globally,” Van Ranst stressed.
Finally, another well-known virologist in Africa, Michelle Groome of the National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD), told several news magazines that “we have surpassed the peak of infections.”
The NCID figures cited by Groome showed that new cases fell by almost a quarter in the last seven days, after falling 14 per cent the previous week.
There are currently no restrictions in South Africa. Restaurants, shops, cinemas, shopping malls, bars, cafes and gyms are all open both indoors and outdoors.
The most portable variant
Despite reasons to be cautiously optimistic, Dr. Leonard Pascual warned that “Omicron is the most contagious variant of the Covid-19 virus to date. Don’t let anyone beat you with a report that is a cure, the ultimate ‘vaccine.’ It’s still Covid.”
In fact, just a “breath of infected breath” is enough to catch the most contagious variant of the coronavirus, a leading researcher warned earlier last week.
Professor Peter Openshaw, who sits on the British New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (Nervtag), stressed how contagious Omicron is.
“We’ve had several iterations of this virus going through different stages of its evolution,” he said.
“We’re really lucky it wasn’t that contagious when it first passed from person to person.”
Professor Peter Openshaw
To prevent the emergence of new variants or to prevent variants like Delta or Omicron from adapting more, “take away the chance of the virus from replicating,” Canadian Dr. Angela Rasmussen wrote last week.
“It means that transmission to new hosts is stopped. Fewer new cases = less replication = fewer mutations = fewer variants. So, as the article says, we need to reduce community spread, increase surveillance and testing / tracing capacity, and address this, even if it is still rare, he warned.