From the panic effect generated in the first few hours after she was isolated in South Africa, the dreaded Omicron variant now seems to be giving much more encouraging signals to the scientific world. Because if the transmissibility is even greater than the Delta variant – predominant almost everywhere and especially in Europe – but the first data on the symptoms appear rather encouraging.
Angelique Coetzee, the president of the South African Physicians Association, has already specified that it is a variant that has very mild symptoms and has so far caused no hospitalization, stigmatizing the closure made first by the United Kingdom, then by the rest of Europe, towards South Africa. Now it’s the turn of the well-known microbiologist Andrea Crisanti: if it is confirmed that the Omicron variant is so weak – says Crisanti – then this «” would be proof that the epidemic is about to end “.
Omicron variant: Optimistic Chrysants
Interviewed by Corriere della Sera, the microbiologist explains why, at present, it is harmful to indulge in broken alarms: the Omicron variant, says Crisanti, “has had no impact in Italy up to now. It is a variant with high transmission, otherwise it would not have overruled the Delta. It has a selective advantage, it is more contagious. It would be bad news if Omicron was found to cause severe forms of disease. It would be excellent news if it were understood that, as it seems based on the first data collected in South Africa. , is responsible for mild symptoms “. In essence, “it would be proof that the epidemic is over because it would be fueled by a variant that immunizes without hurting. It would mean that the virus is evolving towards less virulence. So the emergence of this new strain is not necessarily a bad thing.” .
Positive signals also on the stock market
According to Bill Ackman, founder and CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management, if this information were confirmed it would be a bullish signal for the markets. “While it is too early to have definitive data, the first reported data suggests that the Omicron virus causes ‘mild or moderate’ symptoms (less severity) and is more transmissible,” Ackman said via Twitter, “if this is true, it is [un segnale] bullish not bearish for the markets “.
Omicron variant and vaccines
MRna vaccines – such as those made by Moderna and Pfizer – can be modified relatively quickly, in order to induce an immune reaction specific to the new variant; but the process would still take a few months. While the scientific community awaits more solid data. uncertainty will once again be the protagonist on the markets: the fear index, the Vix, has returned to its highest levels since last March last Friday and is currently at 27.25 points.
Encouraging data from Israel
Three doses of the covid vaccine protect against the Omicron variant. From Israel there are signs of optimism in the campaign against the spread of the new variant. Israeli Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz said individuals fully vaccinated against covid can be also protected against the Omicron variant. In Israel, four cases of positivity to the variant have so far been confirmed. “In the next few days we will have accurate information on the effectiveness of the Omicron vaccine, but there is already room for optimism, and there are initial indications that those who have been vaccinated with a still valid vaccine or booster will also be protected. from the variant, “he said.
“It is good news if they have carried out the experiments, it takes some time to do them”, said the president of Aifa, Giorgio Palù, a guest of Porta a Porta covid.
“You have to have the virus in culture and isolate it, in Israel or they have had cases or if they had it sent from South Africa, or you have to use a chimeric virus that has on the outer surface the protein S with which the virus attacks our cells, which is needed for the vaccine – he explained – To develop it for synthetic biology it takes some time and then you have to test the immunizing capacity. If they have obtained this result, it is a good figure “.