The virus variant known as omicron has appeared in Hungary too, announced Cecília Müller, the national chief medical officer, on M1. To prevent escalation, the number of administered third vaccinations should reach that of the second. Meanwhile, in Israel the “super-variant” was identified in a person who had entered from Hungary.
Omicron in Hungary
According to the Chief Medical Officer, the omicron variant of the coronavirus was detected in two of the received samples. More cases have not yet been detected, but as previously indicated, the variant is already spreading in Europe, so it is not surprising that it has appeared in Hungary.
As Cecília Müller said, however, the delta variant is clearly dominating in test results, accounting for almost 100 percent of cases. She stressed that the third vaccination is now even more important.
Telex reports that a new PCR test introduced this year by the Neumann Labs diagnostic laboratory has recently demonstrated the presence of the Omicron coronavirus variant, according to a statement from the laboratory. “The mutation infected a couple who had not visited abroad, so they must have contracted the disease at home. In addition to the confirmed Omicron infection of the couple, the Hungarian laboratory is also investigating other suspicious cases,” they wrote.
“It was only a matter of time before the latest variant of the coronavirus, Omicron, originating in South Africa, reached our country. So far, our laboratory has confirmed the presence of the omicron variant in two of the individuals tested, which has been confirmed by experts at the National Public Health Center. This presumably also means that this variant could have infected several people in our country,” said Miklós Nyíri, CEO of Neumann Labs.
A person entering from Hungary identified in Israel with Omicron
Before the Hungarian announcement, The Times of Israel reported that among the 55 Omicron variant cases detected in Israel, one of the infected persons arrived from Hungary.
Predictions about the Omicron variant
Regarding the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus, physicist Gábor Vattay was not optimistic. According to the delayed data which arrived from South Africa, the number of infected people doubles every 3rd-4th day, and the number of hospital patients also increases at a similarly fast pace. One could come to the wrong conclusion regarding the seriousness of the “super-variant” by measuring hospital patients with the number of new cases, since one arrives at the hospital later than when the infection is identified.
The Omicron variant may also cause a new, serious wave in Hungary in January-February 2022, but its intensity could be mitigated if the number of third doses of vaccination administered reaches that of the second vaccination, and those who received the third dose in the summer have themselves vaccinated with a fourth dose.
However, a large proportion of Europeans infected with the Omicron variant of the coronavirus so far appear to have a “mild” course of the infection. “The cases seem largely mild, but we still need to collect more data,” the European Medicines Agency announced last Thursday. They said no statement could yet be made on the efficacy of the vaccines currently used against the coronavirus against the Omicron variant. Biochemist Katalin Karikó, who contributed to the creation of the covid vaccine by co-developing mRNA technology, also remains of the opinion that the Omicron variant could even end the pandemic if it displaces the Delta variant.
Sources: Portfolio, Index, Hirado.hu, Infostart, Telex
Featured image via Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI