New Omicron sub-variant in the Faroes
The so-called BA.5 Omicron sub-variant has now been identified in the Faroes.
“Fortunately, we know a lot more about the coronavirus now than we did in 2020. We have good vaccines and we also have good treatment for those who develop serious illness,” says chief medical officer Lars Fodgaard Møller.
“We should stay alert, but it is too early to introduce any restrictive measures at this point.”
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The BA.5 subvariant is closely related to the BA.2 Omicron variant from the last Covid wave.
The BA.5 has become the dominant variant in Denmark, and now it has also made its way to the Faroes.
The number of new cases in the Faroes has not been specified.
“Data from Europe suggests that the BA.5 spreads much more easily than the BA.2, but it tends to cause less severe illness,” he says.
“It is unlikely to create a massive care pressure on hospitals, and it has so far caused relatively few fatalities.”
The epidemic commission, which met today to discuss how to proceed from here, says it may become necessary to administer a fourth booster shots for elderly and vulnerable people.
“The existing vaccines do not provide great protection against Omicron variants, but they do protect well against developing severe illness and death,” he says.
New vaccines that are tailor-made to protect against Omicron variants are expected to be available this autumn.
Watch out for symptoms
The health authorities are keeping an eye on how this develops.
For now, the epidemic commision recommends that people stay away from other people if they notice any symptoms.
“The BA.5 symptoms are very similar to previous Covid variants – fever, coughing, shortness of breath, muscle or body aches, etc.,” says Møller.
Read the Faroese version of this article here.
More Faroese News in English.