Coronavirus: behind the resumption of contaminations, the omicron variants

Contaminations increased by 21% compared to the previous week.

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LThe contamination figures are going up in Belgium, which had not happened for several weeks. According to information published by Sciensano, 1,585 new Sars-CoV-2 contaminations were detected on average per day between May 29 and June 4. This represents a 21% increase over the previous week.

This resumption of the spread of the virus can of course be explained by the end of sanitary measures, but it is above all driven by the large circulation of omicron BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants. This is what virologist Steven Van Gucht explained to The Last Hour. “It’s a bit early to talk about an epidemic rebound, but it wouldn’t surprise me if we were entering a period when we are witnessing an increase in infections”, indicates the virologist. “If they are not more dangerous, they are on average 10% more contagious than BA.2 and we see that these sub-variants have taken over for a few weeks. Now they represent 50% of infections and we have seen in the past that when a variant reached this stage, it could have an impact on the curve. Here, we have reached this point, so we can see that the number of contaminations is no longer decreasing and that, on the contrary, it seems to be increasing. »

Towards a new wave?

Steven Van Gucht nevertheless wants to be reassuring. At the dawn of the summer season, experts predict more of a “summer ripple” than a wave of contamination similar to those we have seen in the past. “We can expect a resumption of cases, without a strong resumption of hospitalizations”, specifies Van Gucht in the columns of the DH. “It can last until mid-July or even early August and decrease thereafter. Moreover, we are not trying to slow down the curve as much as possible because there are no risks for our healthcare system. However, caution must remain in order for the most vulnerable people, knowing that currently there are around 5 or even 6 deaths per day. »

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