New wave, new variant. The coronavirus epidemic is resurging in France, and now, the Omicron variant, is worrying the whole world. This mutation – considered to be more contagious – urges drugmakers to adapt their vaccines to fight against the epidemic growth. At the same time, in order to stop the spread of the Omicron variant, the investigation goes on to try and find and isolate confirmed cases.
This past December 2, 2021, the regional health agency has announced a first case of the Omicron variant has been spotted in Île-de-France. The patient – living in Seine-et-Marne – has tested positive to coronavirus following a test performed when landing on November 25, 2021 after a stay in Nigeria. The sequencing of the sample showed the traveler was carrying the Omicron variant.
Santé Publique France announced there were 9 Omicron variant cases in France. The news has been confirmed this Friday by the Health Minister who stated: "To this stage, nine cases have been reported in France in the following areas: Reunion, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, Île-de-France, Pays de la Loire and the Grand Est region". And most sequenced cases come from South Africa.
He continued: "As soon as the results of patients' RT-PCR tests have been known, and before the sequencing results landed, patients have been placed in at-home isolation and measures to identify and isolate contact cases at risk have been instated".
This Wednesday December 15, 2021, Santé Publique France reports there are 240 Omicron cases confirmed in France. But the toll could be much higher for several grounds. For instance, asymptomatic people - who might have been infected with Omicron - are not tested. Furthermore, the sequencing (namely the analysis of the whole genom of the virus) takes time, between 3 and 15 days, so, people contaminated with Omicron over the past few days have not been included in the counting of Santé Publique France yet.