“What will the future of Covid-19 be? A series of epidemic micro-waves. We will no longer have large waves, but mini-waves in which we will have locally, and with little forecasting ability, a spread of the virus that will hit quite a bit robust especially frail and immunosuppressed patients.The attention of doctors and the scientific community will have to focus on the latter”. This was stated by Marco Falcone, of the University of Pisa and secretary of the Italian Society of Infectious and Tropical Diseases (Simit), on the sidelines of the event ‘From the pandemic to the new normal, between Covid and long Covid’, organized by HC Training in Rome at the Adnkronos Information Palace.
“We started with the Covid-19 pandemic that spread throughout the world – recalls Falcone – which caused millions of deaths. Thanks to vaccination immunity and the fact that the population has developed background immunity, today Covid-19 it is no longer the disease it was 1 or 2 years ago.It is a disease that generally causes moderate and mild infections, but which can have a major impact on certain categories of patients: the most fragile patients such as the elderly, immunocompromised patients and patients undergoing to immunosuppressive therapies for various pathologies”.
“Today – observes the expert – we have a very large category of immunosuppressed patients and in these patients the Sars-CoV2 infection is still very serious. On the one hand it can cause hospitalization and pneumonia, on the other it slows down the access to treatment. The positive patient, in fact, must postpone therapy, bone marrow transplant or organ transplant. This is something we cannot afford and for this reason surveillance of the virus is essential”.
“The Omicron virus – Falcone highlights – marked the definitive change in the infection, linked to a lower pathogenicity and to the diffusion of very widespread, but also very immunoevasive variants, that is, which tend not to be intercepted by the antibodies we have produced with the vaccine or with previous infections”.
“Looking to the future, Secretary Simit underlines that “we will have to be able to track the virus, sequence it and understand its modifications, because it is a plastic virus that changes from one week to the next. We now have sub-lineages of Omicron that are called by various exotic names, such as Kraken or Centaurus – cites Falcone – which have a transmissibility 7-8 times higher than that of the original Wuhan virus. The virus evolves, our ability must be to follow the evolution of the virus and understand how it impacts the population groups most at risk”.
“In some segments of the population, surveillance must be maximum – specifies the expert – and therefore prevention with vaccines or early treatment with new antiviral drugs must be a mission to minimize the impact of an infection that we hope you become an infection to live with and not an infection that still has nasty surprises in store for us. It is very difficult to predict, so we need to constantly monitor the phenomenon”.