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Virologist warns of a new variant: a virus that still wants to ...

Virologist warns of a new variant: a virus that still wants to …

German virologist Hendrik Strick of the University Hospital Bonn talks about the effectiveness of contact restriction measures, open questions about the so-called seasonal effect and possible new variables in the fall.

“The wave motions in our latitudes are strongly driven by seasonal changes. This has always been the case with the four original coronaviruses, and is no different from SARS-CoV-2,” says Hendrik Strick, Director of the Institute of Virology at the University Hospital Bonn and a member of the Board of German Federal Government experts. “The cycle is always the same: in October and November infections increase sharply, in the spring they decrease again, and in July and August the number of cases is lower. Then it increases slowly before there is a clear peak again in October and November.”

It’s hard to predict whether a potential new variant in the fall will be more like omikron or the wild type from Wuhan,” but based on the principle that the virus always wants to be more contagious and evade the immune response more efficiently, it is likely that new variants of Omikron will be developed. ‘, he says. “There are already quite a few potential candidates, such as BA1.12.1 from New York. Or BA.4 and BA.5.”

Hendrick Strick in an interview.

Die Presse: After experiencing more than two years of a pandemic and five strong waves of infection – how big is the impact of non-pharmacological measures such as wearing a mask, maintaining distance and hand hygiene on the spread of SARS-2?