Omicron represents a new virus that is evolutionarily different from Delta or previous variants, but experts said the third wave largely follows the migratory pattern of the previous two waves.
Speaking at a panel discussion titled Variants, Vaccines and Us on Thursday, virologist Dr V Ravi, a member of Karnataka’s Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), noted that the outbreak will potentially peak in the city here. the end of the month, before moving on to other quarters.
Since the start of the outbreak on December 29, Bengaluru accounts for an average of 79% of all new cases recorded daily in the state, according to official data.
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“Cities are overcrowded and people largely meet in closed spaces, which makes them very vulnerable to the epidemic. Again, we will see the same pattern (as before). Omicron is currently in major metros. In three weeks it will move to the districts and then to the periphery,” Dr Ravi said, adding that this is a typical epidemiological pattern.
This could mean a slightly longer exit from the current wave than expected.
If the second wave is any pattern, Bengaluru peaked on April 30. At that time, the city accounted for 60% of all new cases in the state. Subsequently, its share began to decline. The state took five more days to peak, by which time it accounted for 40% of all new cases. However, Omicron’s new nature provides little conclusive evidence as to how the wave will unfold.
Speaking at the event, virologist Dr T Jacob John noted that the new variant’s ability to cause intracellular infections meant there had been a fundamental change in the pathology of the virus, setting it apart from other variants.
“Therefore, there is a shift (of the infection) from the lungs to the upper respiratory tract. The second change is known as incision. This represents a change in pathogenesis,” he explained .
More child cases?
However, the high infectivity of the new variant nevertheless has implications for children under the age of 15, given that more of them may contract the virus in the wave.
Although Dr John said he thought children would generally do better on Omicron, he added that there are risks.
Omicron is a sweetened virus (than Delta), less severe. But a recent Center for Disease Control (CDC) study showed that children infected with the new coronavirus are 2.66 times more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes than children who have never had the new coronavirus, a- he declared.
On Thursday, Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar told a press conference that children under 15 are vulnerable on the grounds that they are not vaccinated.