On Monday, Hungary’s National Public Health Center (NNK) said that so far, 15 cases of the omicron variant of the coronavirus have been identified. But in the week and a half since then, the mutation could have spread even further.
As in several Western European countries, the omicron variant can progress at previously unimaginable speeds in our country too, Miklós Nyíri, CEO of Neumann Labs, told 444. Neumann Labs is the private laboratory that officially found the first case of omicron in a domestic sample, which was later confirmed by the National Center for Public Health (NNH). On December 13, a test from a married couple revealed that they were both infected with omicron. They had not been abroad, so they had already caught it from someone at home, as we have also reported.
In the week and a half since then, the mutation has spread even further. Nyíri says they are retesting the positive samples to see if it was caused by the omicron variant. Out of 93 samples, 20 were definitely omicron, and there were a few that were borderline, but almost certainly were. One of the omicron-infected people was also infected with influenza.
This means that at least in their laboratory, omicron is now the cause of at least 1 in 4 new detected infections.
Yesterday, on December 22, it was announced on the government’s coronavirus site that 15 cases of omicron have been identified so far at the National Center for Public Health laboratory, and that additional suspected omicron samples are being tested. This is less than what was detected by Neumann Labs alone.
According to the government site, “the omicron variant is already highly prevalent in several European countries and is more contagious than previous variants, but information on the severity of the infection is mixed because there is not yet enough clinical experience.” They also emphasize the importance of vaccination.
Featured image via Tibor Illyés/MTI