“High to very high” risk of Omicron variant spreading in Europe

The risk that the new variant of the Covid-19, call Omicron and initially detected in South Africa, expand by Europe is “from high to very high,” warned on Friday the health agency of the European Union (EU).

In a risk assessment report, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) notes that there remains “considerable uncertainty regarding transmissibility, vaccine efficacy, risk of reinfection, and other characteristics of the omicron variant.”

“The general level of risk to EU and the EEE (European Economic Area) associated with the omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 it is judged from high to very high, “according to the ECDC.

Since current vaccines may not protect against this variant and since omicron could be more contagious, “we judge the probability of new arrivals and infections to be high. EU and in the EEE“said the agency, which is based in Stockholm.

“In a situation where the delta variant is reverting to EU and to EEE, the impact of the introduction and the possible spread of omicron could be very high, “he added.

In addition to being detected in South Africa, the Omicron strain has been identified in Malawi, Israel, Hong Kong and Belgium, member country of the EU.

The ECDC He urged countries to perform genome analysis tracking confirmed cases, and travelers not to visit affected areas.

The new one variant B.1.1.529 of the coronavirus was classified on Friday as “worrying” by the World Health Organization (WHO).



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