Omicron 5 is not a trivial flu

The end of the pandemic is far from near. In the meantime, however, sales of sanitizers and masks in pharmacies are down, while those of tampons are up, up by more than 17% in a week. Especially the do-it-yourself ones. But with the risk of having a distorted picture of the viral circulation because the results of the self-tests “very often are not communicated”, according to the epidemiologist Cesare Cislaghi, with the consequence that “the positives would already be at least one million now and there is a risk to meet an increase in deaths “. “We haven’t come out of it at all”, warns virologist Fabrizio Pregliasco, indeed “we are in the middle of the new wave, whose peak is foreseeable at the end of July”.

We will continue to have severe cases

With the end of the state of emergency and the ‘disappearance’ of Covid from TV, Italians have relaxed, but this understandable decrease in attention, just as the more widespread omicron BA.5 sub-variant spreads, risks becoming a weapon to double cut. “Omicron5 – says Pregliasco – it will raise and raise the cases, we will continue to have serious onesalbeit in a proportional way “. In order not to be infected, he notes,” it is not enough to have had Covid and have done it three doses. “Even a study by the University of Peking published in Nature confirms that people who are infected with omicron, even if vaccinated, could be vulnerable to the new sub-variants BA.4, BA.5 and BA.2.12.1. As for the fact that, according to some, Covid is now comparable to flu, “let’s say that Omicron 5 is four times as strong, “says Pregliasco.

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The warning: use masks even at the sea

For this reason the masks “should also be worn by the sea in times of crowding”. But the masks, as well as the hand sanitizing gels, are sold much less today. Pharmacy sales figures, compiled by IQVIA, show less attention is paid to protections. From 13 to 19 June, masks were sold for 1.1 million euros, equal to -11.2% compared to the previous week and -60% compared to the same week of 2021. Sanitizers were sold for 96,000 euros, equal to -2.8% compared to the previous week and -52.3% compared to the same week a year ago. On the other hand, from 13 to 19 June 4.5 million euros were spent on swabs and tests, equal to + 17.5% compared to the previous week. “After a period of decline, we are seeing a new increase in Covid tampons made in pharmacies. But above all a very considerable increase in do-it-yourself tests “but these” do not allow us to have a real perception of the real circulation of the virus in this new determined wave “, explains the secretary of Federfarma, Roberto Tobia.

The anti-Covid self-diagnosis tests are “distorting” the big picture

There are 16,571 new infections from Covid recorded in the last 24 hours, according to data from the Ministry of Health, while yesterday they were 30,526. But anti-Covid self-diagnosis tests are “distorting” the big picture of the epidemic trend and “we can assume that the positives in total are actually currently around one million, considering that the positive outcome of the self-diagnosis test is often not communicated by the citizens. I would say that there are at least many self-diagnosed and unreported infections compared to those notified “, says Cesare Cislaghi, former president of the Italian Society of Epidemiology. “Every doctor – he explains – has the obligation to report any infectious disease diagnosed, unfortunately this obligation does not have the infected that if self-diagnosis “. According to the expert, it would therefore be necessary” greater regulation for self-tests and the reporting of infectious disease should also concern the patient , if he has self-diagnosed it “.

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The risk is an underestimate of the circulation of Covid

In this context, he warns, the risk is that of an “underestimation of the real circulation of SarsCoV2”, with a consequent increase in hospitalizations in the coming weeks and deaths “from the end of the month”.