The current phase of the Covid-19 pandemic is substantially new and the coronavirus, despite continuing to circulate and infect people, is heading towards an endemization phase. However – if mortality has decreased thanks to immunization from vaccines and mutation of the virus – new variants emerge which prove to be increasingly insidious.
The latest in order of time are Cerberus e Gryphonmuch more skilled in discarding the obstacles determined by the immunity guaranteed by vaccines, and insinuating themselves into our body, taking the lungs as the number one target.
Cerberus and Gryphon: the new variants
Cerberus and Gryphon are derivations of Omicron 5, which has infected millions of people around the world in recent months. They are more formidable because they are better able to evade the immunity afforded by vaccines. And more insidious because they are easily confused with colds and seasonal flu.
Cerberus e Gryphon: l’insidia
The new sub-variants, claims theIss, must be monitored “with great attention” because “with greater transmissibility and/or with mutations related to a potential evasion of the immune response”. L’Oms (World Health Organization) in turn notes that they are growing worldwide and Gryphon, “the most immunoevasive ever seen”, rose from 1.5% to 2.0% from 24 to 30 October.
“Unfortunately, the most recent variants are proving to be ‘immune escape’: an ability also linked to greater transmissibility – he says in this regard to The Republic Fabrizio Pregliasco, medical director of the Galeazzi institute in Milan -. This means they attack more easily. So even a low fever, below 38 degrees, should lead to caution. In this case, it is better to undergo a swab, because it is very likely that it is Covid. Which must always be diagnosed ”. And we have also begun to have some worrying data on how ineffective the monoclonals used up to now are ineffective against Cerberus. the good news is that increased resistance to antivirals has not been detected.
Cerberus and Gryphon: symptoms to watch out for
It is therefore necessary to pay attention to these subvariants that elude the immune defenses and whose symptoms are very similar to those of the flu. “We are starting to get to know Cerberus better – explained Pregliasco -. It is confirmed that it tends to occur mainly in the upper respiratory tract, causing flu-like symptoms, such as colds, pesky cough and sore throat. It being understood that it is to be understood how much this is a ‘demerit’ of a less pathogenic virus and how much it is due to the immunity that has been created in the population”.
Within this framework, optimism is not lacking, which must always be accompanied by a healthy dose of prudence. Massimo Ciccozzi, head of the Molecular Epidemiology Research Unit of the Bio-medical campus University of Rome, says: “I am optimistic because Covid is increasingly adapting to us, as we see from the swarm of Omicron subvariants. Even Cerberus, as we have shown in a study, is less contagious than Omicron 5, which is considered the most contagious in history”. However, he adds, “we cannot predict whether a variant will arrive that will displace us and become worse than Omicron: this is why we must be ready”.