Threatened by Omicron, EU member states urged more testing as some delay, Health News, ET HealthWorld

By Francesco Guarascio

The Brussels-European Union health commissioner urged the government to support efforts to detect coronavirus mutations, even if new Omicron variants were detected around the block, as they were somewhat delayed.

The first mutants found in southern Africa are now identified in several European countries, but to track their spread as different countries do not perform sufficient genomic sequencing of positive samples. Is difficult.

“Certain member states are far behind in this important aspect,” Stella Kiriyakides said in a letter from Reuters to the Ministers of Health in 27 EU countries.

She urged all member states to do more.

Genome sequencing allows scientists to decode genes in the SARS-CoV-2 genome, tell scientists which mutants may be present, monitor mutations, and learn more about the virus. increase.

Kiria Kides was not behind, but seven EU member states did not perform the sequence at a sufficient level in the first half of November, according to data from the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). They were Finland, Greece, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Cyprus, Lithuania and Ireland.

Belgium, the first European country to detect Omicron variants, identified cases by sequencing only 3% of positive tests, and many other EU member states, virologists who found the variants there, Consistent with Mark, Van Lanst has about 10% ability, Van Lanst told Reuters.

In a letter on 29 November, Kiria Kides urged the Minister to vaccinate earlier and provide boosters urgently.

“We are already facing a harsh winter due to the high transmission rate of the delta variant (..). The advent of the Omicron variant can create additional or additional pressure,” she writes.

Don’t forget the sewer

Kyriakides also encouraged national authorities to test more people with both molecular and rapid tests. The test identifies the infected individual and is also the first step before the sequence.

“Wastewater monitoring has also proven to be an effective tool for providing important insights and should be used in diagnostic work,” she added.

The World Health Organization (WHO) states that widely available tests can detect individuals infected with any variant, including Omicron. However, so far, we only recommend the TaqPath test created by the US company Thermo Fisher as a proxy.

The test can identify mutations that are usually associated with Omicron, called the S gene dropout. This allows a limited number of samples to be sequenced. This is necessary to see if it is omicron, as dropouts of the S gene also occur in other variants.

The Belgian laboratory that detected the Omicron variant used a Thermo Fisher tester, but it is unclear how widespread its use is in Europe. The company did not disclose the number of tests it sold and its sales to several European countries because of its policy of not disclosing customer data.

(Report by Francesco Guarascio @ fraguarascio; edited by Andrew Cawthorne)

Threatened by Omicron, EU member states urged more testing as some delay, Health News, ET HealthWorld

Source link Threatened by Omicron, EU member states urged more testing as some delay, Health News, ET HealthWorld

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