Does the surge in pollution mark the beginning of the sixth epidemic wave?

And six? Covid-19 is still working at the beginning of spring when the weather is nice and fairly warm and you can enjoy your previous life without masks or health restrictions. Since the beginning of March, Covid-19 contamination has begun to increase again.

If you are far from the January peak, which exceeds the 500,000 threshold per day, your health status indicates a resumption of the epidemic. The average for seven days on Monday was 89,763 per day, the average for a week ago was 65,882 (+ 36%), and the previous Monday was 52,715. Why is the epidemic re-starting despite the sunny weather and rising temperatures? Do you need to worry? Is this recovery a sign of a recession in the fifth wave, or a sign of a sixth surge in the two years of the pandemic?

Wave of subvariant of Omicron BA.2.

This increase in contamination is due to the distribution of BA.2 subvariants of Omicron. 20 minutes Mircea Sofonea, Lecturer of Epidemiology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases at the University of Montpellier. From December to January, the delta wave and the Omicron BA.1 wave overlapped. This is more or less obvious in hospital dynamics, but in certain areas such as Occitanie it is very clear. There is a delta peak, followed by an omicron BA.1 peak. The BA.2 subvariant was already present in the BA.1 wave. At first, quietly, only a few cases were identified.

Within a few weeks, BA.2 replaced BA.1. “BA.2 sublineage now occupies 57% of the Omicron sequence,” Public Health France confirms in the latest breaking news. “BA.2 is about 30% more contagious than BA.1,” the Scientific Council said. So, “From a purely genetic point of view, this is a new wave because it is not a cover of BA.1. From this point of view, I would even talk about the 7th wave. This is what we are epidemiological. Is it enough to say that you are in another episode of? Yes, epidemiologists say. Even between the two waves, certain indicators did not drop significantly: Wave BA.1 and Wave BA.2. Between, he observes that the numbers did not fall below the government’s target epidemiologist threshold of 1,500, which was the third wave following the second wave on the plateau last year. It is a little the same as the pattern observed in. “

So the 5th wave stretches, the 6th or 7th … what should be called a “wave”, which is rather a recovery that lasts for a period of time, softens the vigorous circulation and reproductive rate-Mircea Sofonea, which is larger than the famous R-. Increasingly for a few weeks in the context of health and heredity in terms of different viruses. And this is what we are observing. Not only does it deal with BA.2, it does not deal with BA.1, but it also has different health conditions due to the abolition of the variegation gesture. “

“Effect of mitigating barrier gestures”

Because everyone, or almost, quickly regained the taste of life without a mask. Results: In pharmacies, swabs have been pulled out more often these days, and test positive rates are rising faster than thermometers. “We’ve seen a clear difference lately. We’re doing more tests and many are positive,” we breathe at a pharmacy in Paris. On the other hand, daily hospitalizations for coronavirus increased by more than 9.6% in a week.

Was it premature to lift the restrictions on March 14th? “There is never a consensus on the right time to do that, judge Milsea Sophonea. In particular, the government’s purpose with the advent of Omicron is, as we saw at the peak of this winter’s epidemic, with no additional restrictions. Because they were living with the virus, these are markers of the fact that executives want to minimize prevention of the SARS-CoV2 epidemic in France, which also indicates an important vaccination rate. “The mitigation of this measure in the context of the campaign is consistent,” he continues. In another context, the review clause would certainly have been used to reinstate certain restrictions. Obviously, this won’t happen in the next few days. “

Some scenarios

“Our predictions do show the communicative benefits of BA.2, but they also show the effect of mitigating barrier gestures,” epidemiologists claim. Gradual mitigation already before March 14, showing a general decline in alertness. And it makes the machine wild again. “This progression of barrier gesture mitigation induces a progression of the basic infection rate of the virus, regardless of the greater infectivity of BA.2,” emphasizes Mircea Sofonea.

The problem is, “The model can’t determine how much this level of increase in the base transmission will level off. He explains that it can only establish a scenario. First, to what was observed today. Based on, there is no hospital flood. On the other hand, if R exceeds 1.5 for a few weeks, problems can occur locally. So far, there is no reason to worry at the hospital level, but the epidemic is ours. Neither behind nor benign. Even in Omicron, there are still life-saving emergency, death, and long hospitalizations in the Covid.

However, in the latest opinion on March 14, the Scientific Council is not wary that “the number of hospitalizations will increase temporarily in the coming weeks.” However, “in all the scenarios we investigated, the peak remains much lower than the January peak.” For Mircea Sofonea, this recovery “emphasizes more than ever the importance of wearing a mask in the face of this subvariant, which is more contagious than all previous ones. Barrier gestures are voluntary. Reconfigure yourself to. The more cases around us, the more careful everyone will be. “