by Andreas Kokkinos
For the third consecutive week, there has been a recorded spike in the number of positive covid cases in Cyprus. Last Friday's weekly report showed a 50% increase followed by an additional 3,500 positive cases which were reportedly detected from Saturday to noon on Tuesday.
The spike in cases is not relegated to Cyprus alone. There are increasing reports of a wave of summer outbreaks in countries such as Greece, Israel, Portugal and France. But what is the reason behind the spike in cases in Cyprus?
According to reports, the main cause of the increasing number of positive cases is 2 sub-mutations of the virus. Specifically, the BA5 and BA4 sub-mutations associated with Omicron are what is causing the outbreak. Pediatrician - Infectious Diseases, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Infectious Diseases and member of the Advisory Scientific Committee Dr. Maria Koliou said speaking to "Kathimerini" that BA5 was was specifically predominant in about 19% of cases, and will exceed 40%.
According to Dr. Koliou, earlier vaccines given to the population are not effective against these sub-variants. Moreover, people who developed antibodies from being infected by covid do not have enough antibodies to prevent them from catching these sub-variants as well.
Dr. Koliou underlined the danger of these sub-variants as they seem to attack the lower respiratory tract (lungs) more often with symptoms such as more intense coughing or pneumonia, unlike the runny nose and sore throat experienced by those who were infected by Omicron.
At this time, however, hospitals seem to be coping with the increased number of admissions without additional burden, especially in the ICU.