Covid-19: Europe heading towards a sixth epidemic wave because of the BA.5 variant

Published by Graziella L. · Published on 21 May 2022 at 13h20
BA.2, BA.4, BA.5, the Omicron variant led to plenty of subvariants, and the latest one seems to spread across Europe very quickly, suggesting a sixth Covid-19 wave is coming.

As masks are no longer compulsory in public transportation, is a new Covid-19 wave about to hit? This is very likely as the BA.5 omicron subvariant is spreading very fast in Europe, and especially Portugal and Spain as other countries are stable for now. A new burst in the epidemic is to be expected, likely to intertwin with monkeypox also having European authorities worried for a few weeks.

The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control warned new subvariants could have this effect. BA.4 and BA.5 are the variants of highest concerns, especially in France were they slowly take over BA.2 that led to an epidemic recurrence over the past couple of months. In Portugal, the hardest-hit country to date, the epidemic curves exceed expectations and the positive case toll moved from 650 to 2,500 in three weeks. Facemask-wearing in “closed and overcrowded places” is recommended but not compulsory for now.

BA.5 seems to be more contagious than the previous variants, enabling it to take the lead and reinfect people recently contaminated. Yet, it seems less virulent than the latest subvariants and shall not cause more damage than the previous ones in hospitals, thanks to major vaccination cover and growing herd immunity.

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