February 2, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

A new strain, 20% more infectious, is expected in Greece from the USA

US National Endowment Vaccine Chief George Pavlakis spoke about the new Omicron substrain, which he says has “showed his teeth” in the US, stating, “I’m sure it will also show up soon in Greece.”

“Over the past two weeks, a new North American strain of XBB15 (a substrain of Omicron) has shown its teeth in the US. Experts estimate that it is 20% more contagious than previous strains and, unfortunately, it looks like it will appear in Greece soon. The question is whether we will be able to maintain the defense long enough, at least until spring, in the hope of better weather and fewer casualties,” Giorgos Pavlakis told ERT.

According to him, the strain appeared in North America, where there is an active spread of new species, the same as the next and previous strains of coronavirus. It mainly affects the weak, the elderly, infants and has about the same symptoms as all the previous ones, so we do not see significant differences. It’s just that the coronavirus, with the power given to it by a decrease in immunity (which we actually carefully destroyed with the help of a mask regime, universal disinfection and the dubious quality of vaccines. Editor’s note), constantly mutates, changes its shell and overcomes our defenses. Fortunately, we now have many tools, and we have all either been vaccinated, or have been ill with coronavirus, or both. Many have cellular immunity and enough antibodies, so they are a little easier to deal with. Pavlakis added that it is necessary to avoid crowds, clean ventilation of the premises with filters and a mask with a high degree of protection.

With regard to whether any special measures should be taken in schools, he indicated that there are outbreaks in Greece which, he said, fortunately do not create a huge wave, however, if schools open and there is a risk, it will be necessary very quickly to take further action.

“It’s not hard to wear a good mask in places like schools and it’s not hard to get our schools to clean the air. It costs several hundred euros and schools become much safer. It is not right to leave our children unprotected.” – he said.

It is worth noting that many Greek and foreign experts believe that it was the mask regime and “sterile conditions” that caused a sharp increase in cases of influenza and acute respiratory infections among children in the autumn-winter period of 2022-2023. And the illiterate use of antibiotics, which local residents use with or without reason, further aggravated the picture (peditorial note).

At the same time, he announced two encouraging messages for 2023: “First, there is a new capsule form called Remdesivir that new clinical trials show is similar to Paxlovid in that it protects those infected when taken early and helps with post-infection treatment. It’s a simpler drug, it has fewer problems when combined with other drugs, so I hope it gets approved quickly and is a success.”

Secondly, he said that for the first time we will have new vaccines against RSV, the respiratory syncytial virus. “The virus is a killer of babies and the elderly, and the vaccines that will appear will be of great benefit. They will either be given to pregnant women, or to protect their babies, or to the elderly,” he said, adding that “vaccines should not be kept on the shelf, we should make them,” and referred to the measles outbreak that is affecting India. “There is a big epidemic there, more than 12,000 reported cases of measles in a few days, because due to the coronavirus pandemic, they did not get vaccinated on time, and the children born last year were not vaccinated, they are sick and may die this year. Therefore we must understand that coronavirus and other respiratory infections create huge problems not only from coronavirus, but from all related ones,” he concluded.



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