At least 44 people in the European Union have so far tested positive for the omicron variant of the coronavirus. The new variant is also touring our continent for longer than expected.
A variant has been identified in Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Spain and Sweden, and in Reunion, a French overseas province east of Madagascar.
According to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), most people who have tested positive for the virus have recently gone to Africa. No one is known to have fallen seriously ill from it and there are no known deaths in Europe. There are also a few suspicious cases, where it has not yet been confirmed that the omikron variant is involved.
longer in circulation
This mutated variant was first reported by South Africa last week. By that time, the variant had already spread to Europe. The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) found the worrisome variant in test samples taken in the Netherlands on November 19 and 23.
The only discovery of the variant in our country so far was in a sample taken on 22 November from a young woman who had returned from Egypt 11 days earlier via Turkey.
in the Netherlands
The omikron type of coronavirus has already spread within the national borders of the Netherlands. One of the people who had contracted the variant before, as well as the 14 people who returned infected from South Africa, were not on a flight.
The institute said earlier on Tuesday that two people who tested positive for the virus on November 19 and 23 were wearing an Omicron. This became evident from the further analysis of their test samples. One of these individuals had no travel history, as RIVM calls it, and the other was recently in South Africa.
Meanwhile, dozens of cases have appeared in Europe, Canada, Israel, Hong Kong and Japan. The omikron variant is said to be more contagious than its predecessors. However, little is known about the course of the disease and how the vaccines work.
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