January 21, 2022

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Global health: the spread of Omicron is caused by social mixing


The World Health Organization has said that the spread of omicron is due to a combination of factors including mutations carried by the mutant, increased social mixing and immune escape.

The head of the technical team in the Emergency Diseases Unit of the World Health Organization, Maria Van Kerkhove, said that people should reduce their exposure to the virus and try to control its transmission, after a week during which record casualties were recorded.

Van Kerkhove emphasized that Omicron spreads very quickly among people for several reasons, the first of which is the mutations it carries, which allows it to attach to human cells more easily.

She pointed out that “there is a so-called immune escape. This means that the infection can recur … in those who were previously infected and those who have been vaccinated,” according to a statement distributed by the World Health Organization.

And the health official added that “there is another reason is that we are witnessing a proliferation of omicron in the upper respiratory tract, and it differs in this from delta and other mutant.”

But in addition to these factors, the spread of the virus is also driven by the increased mixing of people and spending more time in closed places in the winter season in the northern hemisphere, and the failure to adhere to preventive measures such as physical distancing.

The World Health Organization reported 9.5 million new cases of COVID-19 last week, a record increase of 71 percent over the previous week.

And Maria Van Kerkhove added, “To the general public, what you should care about is just reduce your exposure to the virus, we want people to understand and feel that they have some ability to control the infection.”

She stressed that avoiding long-term symptoms is “reason enough” to try to avoid catching the virus.

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