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New Zealand

Covid-19: ‘This is just the 3rd Omicron wave’ – epidemiologist

Photo: 123rf.com / Composite Image – RNZ

Leading epidemiologists say the long-term effects of catching Covid-19 could be the most serious consequences of the pandemic.

Daily Covid-19 cases Over 4000 for the first time in 3 months It remains unclear when this third wave will peak.

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Michael Baker.
Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rilstone

Professor Michael Baker, an epidemiologist at the University of Otago, said: At first It has been difficult to tell when this Covid-19 wave will peak.

“This is just the third Omicron wave. Fortunately, it’s not as intense as the first two, but it’s definitely happening.”

He said the long-term impact of Covid-19 is his biggest concern at this time.

“They’re classified as Long Covid, but obviously there’s a lot going on, and I think the neurological effects can be very severe and pretty disabling.”

He said that every time he was reinfected, he ran the risk of long Covid.

“So we want to minimize the number of times people get this virus.”

According to Baker, there are three ways people can protect themselves.

People are currently missing out on the vaccines they are entitled to, he said.

“We know that more than 50% of those eligible for the fourth dose have not yet received it.”

said the government has unplanned We have not yet started the annual Covid-19 vaccine booster for the majority of people.

But Baker said he was confident he would consider additional boosters by the winter of 2023, when weakening immunity was a “real problem.”

“Importantly, next year’s booster will probably be this so-called bivalent vaccine, which will also cover the original strain and Omicron.”

“It’s not so surprising to see them [Covid-19] The numbers are going up at the moment,” Covid-19 modeler Dion O’Neill said. morning report.

According to O’Neill, many new subspecies able to evade immunity have arrived on New Zealand’s shores as restrictions have eased.

Currently, about two-thirds of cases will go unreported, he said.

That’s because some cases are asymptomatic and aren’t tested, he said.

“About 30-40% of infections are asymptomatic.”

He said masking and good ventilation are especially important indoors.

“Everything that worked well in the past still works well with those new variants.”

https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/478827/covid-19-this-is-very-much-our-third-omicron-wave-epidemiologist Covid-19: ‘This is just the 3rd Omicron wave’ – epidemiologist

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