However, the doctor warned: “The epidemic is not over. The virus is still circulating and can affect those who are already infected. In its epidemiological update of 12 May, Public Health France (SPF) reveals that 961,550 probable reinfection cases were detected between 2 March 2021 and 24 April 2022. To count, these unlucky people presented at least two positive tests. at intervals of 60 days or more. And if 99% of positive cases showed two contamination events, 1% showed three or more contaminations.
On average, the time between two infection episodes is 233 days, or just over 7 months. And in 55.5% of cases, positive people had symptoms. A rate similar to that observed for all confirmed cases.
But these cases of re-infection may be even more so. “Only people who have been reinfected from March 2, 2021 (January 1, 2021 + 60 days) can be identified in this analysis, and no reinfections occurring from January 1, 2021 after the first episode in 2020,” the SPF warns in its newsletter. And the health authority, on the contrary, warns of the possibility of false positives or prolonged detection of viral material in an immunocompromised person, which is considered too high.
Omicron in viewfinder
What causes so many reinfections? It’s the same one that caused so many infections in the first place: the omicron variant. Indeed, “93% of the probable reinfections for which the screening result was available had a result suggestive of infection by Omicron during the second episode,” says SPF. With the arrival of the variant on French soil, the reinfection rate also increased sharply, rising from 0.7% between March 2 and December 5, 2021 to 4.5% from December 6, 2021. It reached 6.9% for the single week of April. 18 – 24, 2022.
“The very strong distribution of the omicron variant in France, characterized by increased contagiousness and significant immune evasion, is very likely to play an important role in this increase in the frequency of possible re-infection cases. Furthermore, the reduction in post-infection or post-vaccination immune protection over time in the French population reinforces this phenomenon. seems more likely”, hence interpreting SPF.
Be careful if you are protected by your age: 48% of possible reinfection cases were between the ages of 18 and 40.
The sixth wave is still possible in the fall
The return of flames in the fall is more likely than ever before for all age groups. Especially since health officials are keeping an eye out for two new sub-variants of Omicron that are now common in South Africa. It is unknown at this time whether BA.4 and BA.5 are further contagious, but their outlook coincides with the increase in new cases in the country.
Hospitalizations decreased by more than a week
In France, too, hospital numbers dropped as 19,272 Covid patients were hospitalized on Friday (compared to 21,277 a week ago), with 756 new admissions per day (vs 939). In detail, the intensive care services, which treat the most severe forms of the disease, received 1,233 patients (instead of 1,408 last Friday), with 77 admissions in the last 24 hours (compared to 102 a week ago).
In total, more than 147,257 people have been killed by Covid-19 in France, with 94 more deaths in the last 24 hours.
There is no change on the vaccine side: According to the figures of the Ministry of Health, 54.3 million people are vaccinated with at least one dose (80.6% of the total population) and 53.4 million (79.3%) are fully vaccinated.
The Minister of Health also warned that masks in transport (and elsewhere) could return depending on the evolution of the epidemic situation. “But I don’t want to,” Olivier Véran said on BFMTV Thursday morning. He added that then the problem of “additional vaccination of part of the population” may also arise.
Currently, the fourth dose of the vaccine (i.e. the second booster dose) is available to French 60-year-olds or at-risk patients six months after the booster dose.