(TA/Nettavisen) Anyone who thought the pandemic was over has unfortunately been wrong: a new wave of infections is about to sweep the country.
– A comprehensive assessment of the available monitoring data shows that the trend towards epidemics of COVID-19 is increasing. The size of the increase is uncertain. This development is driven in part by weakened immunity and in part by the BA.5 variant, according to the National Institute of Public Health (NIPH).
BA.5 is another omicron mutation and is now on the rise in many countries. It spreads because it contains mutations that make it better able to circumvent previous immunity.
The latest weekly report from the FHI indicates that the number of new hospital admissions increased by 25 percent in one week, and by more than 130 percent in four weeks.
The number of new hospital admissions is on par with the winter/spring wave in 2021, while deaths are on par with what we saw in the 2020/2021 new year period.
No one knows how many people are infected
No one knows how much infection rates have increased. Norway’s testing system has been more or less discontinued. Test stations have been closed, and voluntary reporting to municipalities has ceased.
If one has to believe social media, positive self-tests are now beginning to register on both the D3 vaccinations and those who have had an omicron this winter.
Many reported feeling less sick than the first time they got infected.
According to FHI’s Chief Medical Officer Preben Aavitsland, there is no point in continuing to measure this development.
“We don’t see it as a reasonable use of resources now to test hundreds of thousands of people with respiratory symptoms and to enroll those who test positive,” Avitzland told Nettavisen.
The advice is to stay home if you are sick, he says.
Segregation and segregation are now outdated concepts. On the Health Norway website Recommendation to stay at home and avoid contact with people at increased risk To become seriously ill if one feels ill after having a recent respiratory illness.
Should you test yourself quickly when in doubt?
– It’s not necessary. Aavitsland says the advice above is the same no matter what the test shows.
Injury should be expected several times
FHI thinks the R number since May 16 is 1.2, but stocks are pointing up: some unconfirmed indicators for FHI suggest it’s been doubling every week.
Covid-19 is still a disease to watch. Unexpected changes may occur. People should expect to be infected many times over in the coming years. People who want to avoid infection can choose to protect themselves more, says the FHI chief.
What about Corona passports?
Only through an official test can one register the infection, which enters to update the Corona passport.
– Since the infection is no longer registered, do people risk being left without a valid Corona passport until the fall if it is resubmitted? Or are you sure this concept is fading away?
– In Europe, only Portugal, France and Malta now need a Corona passport or equivalent upon entry. We expect and hope that the concept will go away. In any case, it will be possible to travel to countries undergoing testing in place of Corona passports, says Aavitsland.
Does a new vaccine dose help with a new variant?
What is driving the infection now is a new variant called BA.5. It has mutations that make it better able to circumvent previous immunity.
The vaccine used for a fourth dose of the vaccine is the same that was used throughout. This was made specifically against the original virus that was discovered in China at the end of 2019. And making so-called vaccines for the variants has proven more difficult than expected.
On the other hand, modernists claim that Their next combination vaccine shows promising results. The vaccine may arrive in the fall.
There is little talk of the fourth dose of the vaccine at the moment for the elderly. Of those infected now, I’ve heard of people who have been vaccinated two and three times who have also been infected with omicron this winter. What do you really know about the effect of a vaccine on BA.5?
– These days, we’re particularly working with a plan to determine which combinations the fourth dose should be recommended and when it should happen. Avetsland says people over 80 can already take their fourth dose.
Vaccination provides good protection against the dangerous path of all previous variants, including BA.2, although the vaccine is based on the original virus from Wuhan. BA.2 is a precursor to BA.5, so we believe there is also good protection against the dangerous pathway of BA.5 infection. So far, there have been no studies on this matter, concludes the head of the FHI.