While even in Italy the Covid cases mark a slow rise in the last two weeks, the WHO recommends maintain surveillance of the disease “to remain aware of the situation and assess the risk, detecting significant events in changes in the characteristics of the virus, in its spread and in the severity of the disease, as well as on the level of immunity of the population”.
WHO: “the risk to the population remains high”
The body also asks states to continue to offer vaccination against Covid-19 and to enhance efforts to increase immunization coverage for all people in high-priority groups. WHO “continues to evaluate high risk of Covid-19 for global public health“. The virus continues to circulate in all countries, “it continues to kill and to change,” WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a press conference in Geneva on the global health situation.
The cases are decreasing but so are the countries reporting the data
Since the end of the global health emergency was declared three months ago, Tedros recalled, “globally, the number of reported cases, hospitalizations and deaths has continued to decrease. But the number of “Countries reporting data. Last month, only 25% of countries reported Covid deaths to WHO, and only 11% reported hospitalizations and intensive care.”
The tests on the variant of interest Eg.5 are reassuring
Meanwhile, the former are reassuring test on the new EG.5 variant (renamed Eris). A study conducted by several Japanese research centers has confirmed that it does not escape the antibodies developed following a previous infection with other XBB variants, the dominant ones in recent months and against which the new vaccines will be directed.
To the options EG.5, first identified in February, it began to strengthen its presence in the early summer. On July 19, the WHO included it among the variants under monitoring and for a few days it has become dominant in the United States. These trends, analyzed by the researchers, “suggest that EG.5.1 will spread across the world and outclass other XBB sub-variants in the near future.”
Epidemiologist, cases and hospitalizations date back to isolation
“The notified Covid infections had not grown for some time, but since mid-July the trend has reversed and it may not be a momentary fluctuation but a real trend at least in the medium term, as confirmed by the trend of the diagnostic replication index, which reached August 3 at 140% (that is, for each diagnosis it is estimated that 1.4 are repeated) and seems willing to grow further. At the same rate, hospitalized patients have also increased since mid-July”. This was underlined by the epidemiologist Cesare Cislaghi, who adds: “the reaction of the institutions was incredibly that of eliminating the isolation of contagious subjects” but “we invite you to respect it anyway” in case of positivity. In July, there were 145 Covid deaths, which could perhaps have been avoided if they had not become infected. “The trend in deaths is not yet clearly growing like the infected and hospitalized, but we know that we will have to wait until mid-August to see if mortality has also increased”, explains Cislaghi.
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