According to Helsingin Sanomat, the BA.5 omicron sub-variant is becoming more widespread in the Helsinki Hospital District and Uusimaa (HUS). HUS’s head of diagnostic services, Lasse Lehtonen, told the newspaper on Wednesday that infections caused by the subvariant have been increasing each week for the last three weeks, raising concerns about a new wave of infections before autumn.
He said since mid-May, its market share has climbed significantly, demonstrating a clear upward trend. A standard polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test can quickly discover the subvariant. It is suspected that it was responsible for approximately 8% of the illnesses reported in the district last week. Lehtonen predicts that BA.5 will quickly become the most frequent variant in the country.
“Unfortunately, it appears that this is inescapable,” he remarked. The rise is worrying, particularly given that immunizations only provide very little immunity. He advises people at high risk of severe coronavirus sickness to continue wearing high-quality face masks to protect themselves from the sub-variant.
“Risk groups would be urged to utilize an FFP2 mask four to six months after immunization. If you are at risk of severe coronavirus illness, it is a relatively simple preventive precaution to take.”
According to Mika Salminen, head of health security at the Finnish Institute of Health and Welfare, the new variation has little impact on the overall picture of the epidemic (THL). Every six months, new variants emerge, with the most recent sub-variant not proving to be more harmful than earlier omicron mutations. “As a society, we must become accustomed to variations that may result in new disease epidemics,” he stated.
“Vaccines appear to protect against severe forms of the disease and unique sub-variants,” he said, adding that to manage coronavirus infection, healthcare systems may rely on enhanced information and novel therapeutics. The BA.5 sub-variant was discovered in Turku, Finland, a few weeks ago.
THL predicted that a fresh wave of coronavirus infections would emerge in the fall or winter. Salminen told Helsingin Sanomat on Wednesday that it is too early to tell whether the wave will occur earlier as a result of the new subvariant or if it will differ significantly from prior waves. In this region, infection rates have been decreasing, as has the number of patients in hospitals and intensive care units.
On Thursday, 485 people were hospitalized in Finland, with 16 requiring intensive care. Seven days ago, almost 11,000 new disorders were recorded. Furthermore, the number of coronavirus-related deaths has been declining for several weeks. “The conditions for spreading deteriorate in the heat. Let us hope for the most beautiful and sunny summer imaginable.