Scientists are examining a new coexistence with the virus: isolation of only positives and changes to quarantines limited to close positive contacts
The Omicron variant with its high transmissibility rates is spreading at a faster rate than the Delta variant and previous infection strains and this raises many concerns about the need to adopt new restrictions around the world.
The tracing of infections has jumped a little everywhere also due to the ability of this variant to evade both vaccination protection and to reinfect those who had already contracted the disease, with still uncertain incubation times. According to reports from the last few weeks, however, the symptoms related to Omicron infection appear to be milder than the previous Delta variant.
It presents with headache, congestion, and sore throat, in some cases quite similar to seasonal flu and fever, which do not arouse particular alarm. However, it remains a dangerous infection for immunosuppressed people, the elderly, or people with chronic diseases who must strictly adhere to the protocols and observe particular precautions.
The US president, Joe Biden, in recent days, spoke of "a state of alarm, but not panic", reiterating the need to get vaccinated to get out of the pandemic. The New York Times has published very comforting news about the lower risk of resorting to intensive care for those infected (by 15/17%) compared to the Delta variant. In Italy, the Omicron variant represents 28% of cases with a number that would tend to double every 2 days.
The Christmas holidays, according to an ISS report of 23 December last, saw the government engaged in formulating new indications to counter the advance of the virus. The measure of green certification, which saw the introduction of the "strengthened" Green pass last December 6, introduced by decree, provided for the need to exhibit it for the performance of recreational activities such as public events, cinemas, restaurants, stadiums, theaters, gyms, swimming pools, game rooms, while the "basic" Green pass remains.
These days, scientists are moving towards a "new form of coexistence" with the virus, which is still under consideration, aimed at isolating only the positives, with changes in quarantines, limited only to close positive contacts. This is due to the enormous spread of the infection which would affect essential services if the restrictions were to remain those previously adopted.
The scientific world evaluates what to do and is still studying the virus, but many indications lead to the supposition that it tends to become endemic and serious only marginally, as regards the Omicron variant still on the rise, however requiring maximum attention for fragile subjects.
The use of the vaccine, the use of aids even outdoors, and social distancing remain powerful weapons of contrast, such as the intake of vitamin D3, which from numerous studies seems to mitigate the aggressiveness of the virus and which maintains its effectiveness despite the mutations.
Good news comes from South Africa, the first country to isolate Omicron, where restrictions have been relaxed and coexistence with the virus does not cause particular problems for the population. This gives us a positive and encouraging signal that the pandemic is over.
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