Experts Fear Further Waves of Coronavirus Epidemic As Case Numbers Gradually Increase

The number of newly detected cases of coronavirus in the Czech Republic has been rising gradually for several weeks, with new sub-variants of the virus accounting for more than half of the cases. Photo credit: JMK

Czech Republic, July 1 (BD) – According to Dr. Petr Husa, head of the Infectious Diseases Clinic at Brno University Hospital (FN Brno), the situation in the Czech Republic is becoming a cause for concern. If case numbers are already rising now, this means the summer upsurge is occurring two months earlier than last year, and the autumn wave could therefore occur as early as August or early September.  

Part of the reason case numbers are rising is that all epidemiological measures have been relaxed. Concerts with large concentrations of people and other similar cultural or sporting events are taking place again. Travel also has an effect on new cases, with people going to countries where the incidence of infectious variants is higher. In addition, half of the new cases are sub-variants BA.4 and BA.5, which experts believe do not worsen the course of the disease, but are apparently more resistant to vaccination and antibodies from previous diseases. “We know that the sub-variants of the virus are more virulent; they are reported to be up to 10 times more infectious, which is very alarming news,” said Husa. 

Experts therefore recommend getting not only the third but also the fourth dose of the vaccine and not waiting for further intervals, in order to ensure that the defence against infection is as early and as high as possible. “It is still true that vaccination significantly reduces the likelihood of those infected being admitted to hospital and intensive care units with a severe course,” said Husa. “It was already clear in the wave triggered by the omicron mutation that the vast majority of people who come to us are people who are under-vaccinated, either not vaccinated at all or only vaccinated with two doses.”

Although FN Brno is recording low daily numbers of hospitalizations with Covid-19 so far, the situation is worse in the west of the country, so it is possible to expect a gradual deterioration across the country.  

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