A graph from the Financial Times comparing the transmission speed of the omicron variable with others already known indicates the heyday of this new version of SARS Cove 2 In the cases recorded in South Africa.
The comparison takes into account the percentage of cases caused by omicrons among infections in which the genetic material of the virus has been sequenced to identify the causative strain.
The image has gained space on social networks since European countries began restricting flights leaving places where the strain is spread, and above all after the World Health Organization (Who is the) It states that the release is considered a “variable of concern”.
But does the graph show that this will be repeated around the world? What does the data actually show about how much this new variable can slow the ongoing reopening of many countries, including Brazil?
Experts heard before g 1 Point out two pieces of information relevant to reading the graph:
- It shows that the transmission rate of the variant is higher than that of others, including the already well-known, such as Delta;
- But at the same time, the data refer exclusively to South Africa, where the proportion of vaccinated people is low.
Therefore, the analysis cannot be extrapolated and said that the same will be repeated in countries with different vaccination rates and in people already infected with other variants.
South Africa currently has 14.2 million people who have completed the full vaccination schedule. The number equates to 24% of the country’s population of 59 million.
Climbing like a rocket
Analyzing the graph, epidemiologist Pedro Hallal says the curves are worrying, although they are observed in a country with an immunization deficit.
“The only thing that might help is that this is the pollution curve in a poorly vaccinated population like South Africa. Maybe in a more pollinated population, the variable can’t make that curve that looks like a missile launch. But, frankly, it’s worrisome, yeah – Pedro Hilal, epidemiologist
Pedro Hilal on the new alternative: “It appears to be more transferable”
Ethel Maciel, a professor at Joffs University and an epidemiologist, has a similar opinion.
She explained that the graph only shows the baud rate, which appears to be much higher than other variables such as delta.
“The time it took for it to become dominant in South Africa was faster. So, it means that it can pass on to more people. But we have to remember that in this place where it does move, there is a small percentage of people that get vaccinated which is why the organization Global health is of concern because it appears to be more transmissible, but we do not yet know its effect on disease severity.”
Anvisa’s former boss, Gonzalo Vesena, summarizes it in a chronological comparison.
“Basically what the curves are saying is: that Omicron did in 25 days what the others did in 100 days. What does that say? That it has a logarithmic ability to infect and create new cases. It is much faster than beta and delta,” Vesina said.
Professor Tulio de Oliveira, director of the South African Epidemiological Response and Innovation Center, is one of the researchers who has followed the increase in the prevalence of the new type among cases in the country.
“This new variant, B.1.1.529, appears to be spreading very quickly! In less than two weeks, it is overshadowing all infections after the devastating delta wave in South Africa,” Tulio said, noting that the new variant, (in the chart below at blue) is already 75% of the last genome sequenced.
“Soon you will reach 100%,” the researcher said.
Graphic used by researcher Túlio de Oliveira to promote the circulation of B.1.1.529 in South Africa – Image: Reproduction/Twitter
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