What we know about coronavirus variants in Italy

What we know about coronavirus variants in Italy

The red and orange areas reinforced by outbreaks of variants of Sars-Cov-2 multiply throughout the Peninsula. Is it the beginning of the third wave?

(image: Pixabay) No longer just Umbria and some sporadic outbreaks, the variants of the coronavirus are spreading throughout Italy: for the experts of the Scientific Technical Committee and the Higher Institute of health (ISS) today about 30% of new coronavirus infections would be attributable to the English variant, while less widespread (although present) would be the Brazilian and South African variant. And the institutions take measures: municipalities in the red zone and closure of schools for some regions, while Lombardy establishes orange zones strengthened for the entire province of Brescia, in the Bergamo area and in the Cremona area.

Monitoring of variants

A premise is necessary: ​​it is not possible to have a precise map of the spread of the three most worrying variants at this time because our ability to sequence samples (the analysis of the virus genome that allows us to discriminate between a variant and another) is poor. In a nutshell, we sequence a little (less than the 500 samples per week recommended by the ECDC) and we risk not being able to identify outbreaks of variants in time, allowing their further diffusion.

The first survey on variants of the Higher Institute of health (ISS) has estimated the presence of the English variant at 17.8% in the past weeks, but the expectation is that the spread will increase rapidly and that it may become the prevalent form by the end of March. To have other data, we will have to wait for the report of the second investigation also launched by the ISS, which should photograph the spread of the English, Brazilian and South African variant.

Attentive Italy

Meanwhile the news of new outbreaks caused by variants of Sars-Cov-2, as well as those of isolated cases of even rarer variants, follow one another and push the institutions to take action.

In recent weeks, Umbria and Abruzzo were the first to experiment with the spread of the new variants of Sars-Cov-2, and are confirmed as a red zone.

Umbria counts dozens of cases attributed to variants of Sars-Cov-2, in particular Brazilian and English. According to the February 23 report of the Italian Association of Epidemiology, it also has the highest incidence rate of Covid-19 (278 per 100 thousand inhabitants).

In Abruzzo, the cases of Covid-19 due to the variant English would even be 70% of the total; therefore the provinces of Pescara and Chieti remain the red zone.

In Lazio, 4 municipalities (Colleferro, Carpineto, Torrice and Roccagorga) are the red zone and due to the high incidence of cases of variants some schools have been closed.

In Lombardy, after some municipalities in the Milanese and Pavia areas had already been armored in recent weeks for the spread of the English variant, the bubble of the province of Brescia bursts, which has been declared entirely a reinforced orange zone, thus like some municipalities in the Bergamo and Cremona areas.

The municipality of Bono in Sardinia, the municipality of Re in Piedmont, the municipalities of Sanremo and Ventimiglia in Liguria are added to the list of red areas.

In Molise 28 municipalities are red and the region on the color map of Italy is orange, as are the autonomous provinces of Bolzano (where the Spanish variant was also detected) and Trento.

Grows the incidence and the fear there are also variants in Emilia Romagna (which imposed particular restrictions and the closure of schools in some municipalities of the Apennines), in Tuscany (Siena has closed middle and high schools) and in Campania. In the Marche 20 municipalities, including the capital Ancona, have passed into the orange zone.

Puglia, still yellow, is taking cover after some laboratory tests give the English variant to 38.6% of total cases: 100% integrated digital teaching until March 5.

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Coronavirus Italy Variations Sars-Cov-2 globalData.fldTopic = " Coronavirus, Italy, Sars-Cov-2 variants "

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