MORNING – PCR tests remain in effect for Omicron version, says WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Sunday that PCR tests against the new version of the coronavirus are still effective and studies are underway to measure the effectiveness of other diagnostic tools.

“The widely used PCR tests continue to detect infections, including infection with Omicron, as we have seen with other variants. Studies are underway to determine whether other types of tests, including rapid antigen detection tests, have an effect, the WHO said in a statement.
While the pandemic has already claimed more than five million lives worldwide since the end of 2019, the United Nations agency on Friday described the new version as “worrisome”.
Recognized in South Africa, Omicron has prompted many countries to close their borders to southern Africa, when they were sometimes barely reopened to the world.
Preliminary data suggests that the Omicron variant presents “an increased risk of re-infection” compared to other variants, including delta, dominant and already highly infectious, according to the WHO, which indicates that more information on the subject will be available in the literature. coming weeks.
There has never been such a concern in the world since the emergence of the Delta.
WHO does not yet know whether Omicron is more readily transmitted than other variants. “There has been an increase in the number of people testing positive in the regions of South Africa thus affected, but epidemiological studies are underway to understand whether this is due to omicrons or other factors,” she said. indicated on Sunday.
WHO also does not know whether it causes more severe forms of the disease. “Preliminary data suggest an increase in hospitalization rates in South Africa, but this may be due to an increase in the total number of people infected rather than Omicron,” according to the statement.
As for the WHO, there is currently no information to suggest that symptoms associated with omicron are different from those caused by other variants, but “it may take several days to several weeks to understand the virulence levels of the variant”. Will take”.
According to WHO, the SARS-CoV-2 variant is considered of concern when it is associated with one or more alterations, such as increased transmissibility or virulence, decreased effectiveness of health measures, public and social or clinical. Equipment, vaccines and treatments available.
There were now 4 other types of anxiety, the highest levels: delta, alpha, beta and gamma. Below the scale, there are “types to look for” (lambda and mu).

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