Omicron variant infects and multiplies: man-animal-man unknown

Omicron variant infects and multiplies: man-animal-man unknown

“The Omicron variant, as the WHO said, could take us out of the Covid pandemic”. Massimo Ciccozzi, head of the Medical Statistics and Epidemiology Unit of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the Bio-Medico Campus of Rome, is convinced of this.

“It is out of the question – says the expert at Adnkronos Salute – that this variant is the one that gives us a bit of a turning point, because it is very contagious and very little lethal. It is a variant that finally “behaves as viruses do,” that is, it infects and multiplies as much as possible, so it does its job at an evolutionary level. Therefore it will tend to become endemic, it will stay with us and this could mean that the frail may get a vaccine every year as for the flu “. All this except for nasty surprises, warns the epidemiologist. “The virus will endemic because it will become a virosis, that is, a passage of a human-human virus. But there is the unknown factor of the man-animal-man passage – warns Ciccozzi – Let’s think about the hamsters that are infected, the raccoons, and let’s not forget the minks or the cases of the felines. It is always a zoonosis. If this happens, and it is possible, it would be a problem – he warns – because in that case the virus would adapt to that animal and then it would pass back to us because it has already been with us and therefore knows how to do it. For this reason, the animal passage of Covid must also be monitored and studied “.

“This pandemic – recalls the specialist – has taught us that we must monitor both the animal and human parts both with classical epidemiology and with molecular epidemiology, therefore genomic tracing. This applies to humans and animals. Always in order not to run after the virus, but to try to anticipate it, which we have not been able to do in this pandemic “.

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