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Two suspected cases of Omicron –

Two suspected cases of Omicron –

The country reports that two people from the Leibniz region who reported positive results for a PCR test on Thursday have an increased likelihood of the presence of the new virus variant: the two infected people returned home from South Africa on December 10 – it depends entirely on the travel history of the suspected Omikron cases.

Like all samples from official tests, the laboratory will now PCR check samples for the presence of viral mutations. If the presence of a mutation cannot be ruled out, samples are immediately sent to ages for sequencing. The Leibniz County Commission has isolated infected people and their contacts.

Omikron will soon replace Delta

For now, the delta variant is still determining the infection process for the coronavirus – but experts predict it will soon be replaced by a new viral mutation: “We expect that delta will likely be replaced by Omikron in early to mid-January,” says Styrian state medical director Elsie Gross, for example. “Omikron has already arrived in Austria, and it’s also very, very likely that there will be an unreported number,” Gross said.

For the apparently more contagious Omikron variant of the coronavirus, the Ministry of Health introduced stricter rules for contact tracing last week: If you have been in contact with an Omikron case, you are considered a K1 person regardless of vaccination or recovery and must be in quarantine for 14 days without Any chance of premature termination – more on this at Race to contain Omikron (

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Existing data cannot be assigned “one-to-one”

Not much is known about the new variant at the moment, other than that it is said to be more contagious. So virologist Klaus Wander from Graz does not think panic is appropriate: “Here I would caution against advance warning, because one thing must be emphasized very clearly – the data we have from South Africa cannot be transferred from one person to another in Austria.”

Omikron wave expected in January

The omicron variant of the coronavirus is considered to be more contagious. So it is assumed that it will spread quickly in Austria. Experts expect a large number of infections as early as January.

It can be said that “Omikron – under certain conditions – has a higher incidence. There is a certain restrictive – but up to a certain – protective effect of vaccination, if reinforcement is not done,” Vander says.

Good protection with booster vaccinations

According to the expert, the third vaccination against coronavirus provides good protection, so the current measures and options are currently sufficient, Vander says: “Yes, of course. So for now, you just have to evaluate the data – you have to look at how things are going in our environment, With the vaccination rate we depend on, how it affects the health system, FFP2 masks indoors and known hygiene measures.