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Health experts predict when Omicron variants will peak in Australia

The highly infectious Omicron strain of Covid-19 has become Australia’s most prevalent subspecies, with daily increases and deaths continuing to shock the country.

Health officials are still pushing for higher vaccination rates to fight the virus and prevent it from destroying hospital systems, but they are also relying on rapid antigen testing.

But could the massive surge in infectious diseases be put to an end?

Camera iconPeople are encouraged to get vaccinated.Matt Jero Neck / Getty Images credit: supply

South Australia’s Prime Minister Stephen Marshall has repeatedly stated that Omicron expects to peak in the third or fourth week of January, with each state offering slightly different advice.

Modeling by NSW Health last week showed that Omicron peaked in mid-January and subsided by mid-February.

Victoria’s Health Minister Martin Foley suggested this week that the state’s peak would be in late January or early February, but Queensland had similar expectations.

Omicrons account for 81.6% of cases in Australia, according to GISAID, which facilitates rapid sharing of data from all influenza viruses and Covid-19.

This is equivalent to 99.5 percent in South Africa, 85.1 percent in the United Kingdom, 74.3 percent in the United States, 74.1 percent in Canada, 89.6 percent in Japan, 55.4 percent in France and 21.3 percent in Germany.

However, the delta variant remains in the Australian community and remains a risk.

COVID MELBOURNE
Camera iconDue to the surge in Omicrons, restrictions remain in some parts of Australia. NCA NewsWire / Sarah Matray credit: News Corp Australia

When does Omicron peak?

Peter Collignon, an infectious disease doctor and microbiologist at the Australian National University, told NCA NewsWire that he believes Omicron will peak in mid-January.

“Most of the spreads were between Christmas and New Year,” he said.

Since then, he has said that people have “corrected” their behavior and interacted less.

“People don’t interact with each other, so I expect it to diminish,” he said.

Epidemiologist Katrina Roper told NCA NewsWire that she believes peaks can occur in late January or early February.

“New South Wales and Victoria are on similar orbits, so they can peak at the same time,” she said.

“Diffusion requires human interaction, which can slow it in less densely populated areas, such as remote areas compared to cities.”

Gaetan Burgio, also from ANU, said that worldwide Omicron has peaked only in South Africa and perhaps the United Kingdom.

“In Europe or the United States, outbreaks are still in the exponential stage,” he told NCA NewsWire.

“It is difficult to predict the peak of Omicron due to the unreliable number of tests performed per day and the underreporting of positive cases, but we do predict the peak of Omicron in 2-4 weeks.

“We expect Delta / Omicron strains to be spread across Australia except Western Australia, and exponential growth is about the same between states, so there is no difference between states.”

Professor Corignon predicted that WA would likely spread the virus when the border was reopened.

He said that the main thing was to get a high level of vaccination, so fewer people would go to the hospital or die.

Dr. Brugio said WA had “very well controlled” the spread of the infection and described it as a “significant” outcome.

How does the healthcare system deal with Omicron?

Australia’s healthcare system seems to be on track so far, but Dr. Burgio has seen a further surge in cases as hospitals have more patients and medical professionals have to be affected and isolated. Said that he couldn’t deal with it well.

“Unfortunately, due to the delay between the initial symptoms (Covid diagnosis) and complications, the pressure on our health system will worsen in the next few weeks,” he said.

Dr. Brugio said that some mitigation measures include obtaining boosters, developing home hospitalizations, monitoring mild cases and elderly patients, treating mild infections, and monoclonal antibodies to avoid disease severity. And Paxlovid said it would include the purchase of efficient anti-Covid treatments.

He also suggested that people maintain precautions such as wearing masks and working from home.

Hospitalizations have not increased at the same rate as cases, Dr. Roper said, and with a highly vaccinated population, fewer people will be severely ill.

“Their hospital stays should be shorter and they probably need less intervention,” she said.

“There are so many cases, and even with a low percentage of hospitalizations, the absolute numbers will increase, but this should peak fairly quickly.

“The main message is to prepare people for self-care at home, but to have friends and family check in in case they need additional help.

“The majority of vaccinated people infected with the Omicron strain experience a home-manageable 3-4 day illness. If you have a headache or fever, you have rest, water, and paracetamol.”

Professor Corignon suggested that people should not “hang too much” on the daily number of cases.

Rather, he said the number of people in the intensive care unit and the number of deaths should be measured.

“Hospitalization has not increased exponentially,” he observed.

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Camera iconRapid antigen testing is now more widely used. NCA NewsWire / Nikki Short credit: News Corp Australia

How about a rapid antigen test?

Dr. Burgio welcomed a more unified approach to collecting data and mandatory reports.

“But a non-compulsory approach would have been more useful in encouraging RAT reporting,” he said.

Dr. Burgio said supply was also a major concern.

“There is a problem with the supply of RAT and PCR. Given the problem of supply, the health department has made a wise decision not to do PCR if RAT is positive,” he said. rice field.

“We have a lot of concerns about the shortage of PCR reagents and RATs, but unfortunately we don’t see any immediate improvement.

“Early detection of infection is important to prevent the spread of the infection, initiate treatment, and control its outbreak.”

Dr. Roper said it would be interesting to see the government’s decision on the need to actually be tested, rather than being able to self-report on the basis of symptoms.

“At this point, it’s important to track the numbers to understand the impact of vaccination programs and how the healthcare system manages them,” she said.

“From now on, it may not be important to get a definitive diagnosis in the laboratory and use self-reported symptoms to get ideas for local respiratory illness.”

Dr. Roper said it could ultimately resemble the flu that people self-care at home.

“We may move to this model of Covid … it responds to symptoms without the need for testing,” she said.

“If we move to this model, this will free up rapid antigen testing and bring it to where it is most needed.

“For example, in elderly care facilities, it is more important to keep infected people out of the environment, given their vulnerabilities.

“Systematic use of them in a valuable workforce around vulnerable people (eg, testing every two days) detects infections before symptoms and better protects the elderly. . “

Health experts predict when Omicron variants will peak in Australia

Source link Health experts predict when Omicron variants will peak in Australia

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