August 11, 2022

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The 7th wave of COVID-19 is spreading across Europe

Europe is currently experiencing the seventh wave of COVID-19, which is largely explained by the immunization of new strains, which means a stronger ability to resist vaccinations and defenses triggered by previous infections.

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In Quebec, the increase has not yet been mentioned, but the number of cases and hospitalizations has been rising again in recent weeks (See below)

The question is, a relaxation of health measures, but, a drop in immunity.

“People infected with Omicron BA.1 in December are less protected than they were at the beginning of the year,” said AFP Samuel Allison, director of research at CNRS, a French research center.

“The same goes for the immunity provided by the vaccine: it is very strong against severe forms, but slightly weaker against less severe infections,” he adds.

Omigron subtypes are involved

According to scientists, this new wave in Europe is explained by the development of new subtypes of Omicron, BA.4 and especially BA.5.

Despite the increase in COVID-19 cases in Europe, popular nightclubs in Ibiza, Spain, such as Pacha, reopened in mid-June after being closed for more than two years due to a corona virus infection.

Photo: AFP

Despite the increase in COVID-19 cases in Europe, popular nightclubs in Ibiza, Spain, such as Pacha, reopened in mid-June after being closed for more than two years due to a corona virus infection.

In France, according to a recent bulletin by Public Health France, a gradual replacement of BA.2 has been seen for several weeks with an increase in BA diagnoses. 5 (41%) and B.A. 4 (6%) during the week of June 13th to 19th.

Because these subtypes seem to benefit from the dual benefit of infection and immune survival, they spread much faster, i.e. the stronger ability to escape the immune response.

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For at least for a while, it was long thought that an infection had taken a protective place. But for the Omigron family, this does not seem to be the case, according to an Imperial College study published in mid-June. Science.

Scientists have studied blood samples from more than 700 health workers in the UK. All received three doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and suffered from historical strain or variation.

Increase the level of security

“We face the most infectious types, like theft agents that go down the radar of the immune system; this is the real problem for the Omicron band,” Gilles Pialoux, service head of Denon Hospital in Paris, underlined last week.

He said these “highly contagious” variants should increase the level of protection of the most vulnerable.

In most European countries, the elderly and the immunocompromised are the first to receive a second booster dose.

With Pascal Dugas Bourdon, QMI Agency

The number of cases has doubled

The number of cases listed has almost doubled in Quebec since the beginning of the month. The Ministry of Health registered about 1,000 cases on Monday, with about 550 new cases reported on the 1st.Er Last June. During the same period, the test positive rate increased from 7.0% to 11.6%. Keep in mind that only “priority persons” can go to the screening center, especially health workers.

Ten times more than last year

The number of patients admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 has also been increasing for several weeks. It went from 1105 to 1Er June 12 June 1226, 11% increase. This number is almost 10 times higher than last year (124). In terms of intensive care, the number of patients has increased from 31 last year to 24 to 36 since the beginning of this month. Note that more than half of the positive patients are admitted for reasons other than Govit-19.

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Fixed number of deaths

The death toll from the disease has been steady since the beginning of this month. 1Er In June, Quebec saw an average of 4 deaths a day, with the moving average on June 17 being three deaths. At this time last year, public health recorded two deaths a day. It should be noted that the elderly are always the most vulnerable: last May, 84% of those who died from the corona virus were 70 years of age or older.

The fourth dose inactive

The administration of the fourth dose vaccine has dropped significantly in the last month. At this time, about 2,000 fourth doses are being given daily, compared to about 5,500 doses a day during the week of May 22nd. Only 15% of the Quebec population receives a fourth dose (or a second booster dose), which adults can receive three months after the third dose. In early May, Luc Boileau, national director of public health, noted that waiting until the end of the summer before reaching this level was “even a good idea”.

Pascal Ducas Borden, QMI Agency