Wednesday, January 19

Night sweats, the new symptom of the Omicron variant

Health’s suspicions that the new one omicron variant could already be in the Region of Murcia It has led them to ask the population for prudence and to take extreme security measures these days, in which social gatherings increase due to the proximity of the Christmas holidays.

With the mutation of the virus are also new symptoms appearing and others disappearing which were more common with Delta and Beta. Most of the usual symptoms remain with the arrival of omicron, but some experts already point out that a new new symptom has appeared so far and that it presents as episodes of night sweats.

Although these are not sudden outbreaks of fever, since the omicron infection at the moment not characterized by feverish peaks. In addition, in infections by this variant loss of sense of smell or taste is unusual.

First analysis

The first analyzes carried out on the samples taken last week from Murcian patients point to omicron, although from Health they are awaiting final confirmation through sequencing.

The Epidemiology Service of the Ministry of Health believes that up to 1 percent of all cases that circulated last week in the Region were of this new variant (B.1.1.529), as confirmed by La Opinion de Murcia Head of the Epidemiology Service, María Dolores Chirlaque.

As usual, samples collected from patients with coronavirus are subjected to a first test to detect the gene using Thermo Fisher and it is estimated that omicron is already present among the positive cases in the Community, pending final confirmation after sequencing .

“The first test is very sensitive and not very specific,” says Chirlaque, so these samples are sent to the sequencing laboratory of the Virgen de la Arrixaca Hospital, dependent on the Microbiology Service, as well as to the Majadahonda laboratory of the Carlos III Institute of Madrid. “This second test is the final confirmation“he says.

The head of the Epidemiology Service of the Region of Murcia explains that “according to our calculations, 1 percent of cases from last week would be omicron, something that was about to happen seeing the presence it has in the rest of the autonomous communities “.

In this sixth wave the predominant variant is the Deltaas there is greater social interaction than that which occurred in previous waves of the pandemic. “But with omicron contagiousness is higher, so you have to be more prudent “, insists María Dolores Chirlaque.

Selection of samples

The samples that are sent to sequencing are randomly selected, although the criteria set by the Ministry of Health are also followed. In this case, samples are taken from people who have arrived from countries at risk, cases of reinfection and the most serious.

The omicron variant was first reported to the WHO (World Health Organization) on November 24 and since then in Spain measures have been announced to try to stop their arrival, such as the control of travel from South African countries with the most cases, with mandatory quarantines upon arrival. to our country.

Precisely, last Friday Health increased to nine countries whose citizens must comply with mandatory quarantine after arriving by flight to Spain, these countries are: South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Zambia.

The epidemiological situation in South Africa, the notifying country, has been characterized by the presence of cocked of reported cases, the most recent mainly due to the delta variant. In recent weeks, the number of infections has increased considerably, coinciding with the detection of the B.1.1.529 variant. The first known case of infection with this variant was confirmed in a sample taken on November 9, 2021.

The WHO reports that variant B.1.1.529 presents a large number of mutations, “some of which are concerning.” Initial tests indicate that the risk of being reinfected by this variant is higher than with others.

Asked about this question, the Minister of Health, Juan José Pedreño, explained yesterday that “we are pending to confirm it, but there are suspicions that 1 percent of the cases analyzed are of the omicron variant.” In this case, he insists that the results, depending on the Microbiology Service, will be available in a few days, when the complete sequencing study is scheduled to end.

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