The assessment that there will not be a rapid increase in the epidemic curve in Cyprus from a possible arrival of the Kraken variant, was expressed by the Assistant Professor of Pediatrics – Infectious Diseases at the Medical School of the University of Cyprus, Dr. Maria Koliou, who explained to KYPE that the Cypriot population already has immunity to Omicron mutations 2 and 5, which are the most prevalent in the community and are related to the new mutation.
On the occasion of the appearance of six Kraken cases in Greece, Dr. Koliou reports to KYPE that “the risk of the appearance of the new mutation in Cyprus is also visible”, to note that its arrival is “a matter of time”.
According to Maria Koliou, the indications for the Kraken are not is more severe than existing mutations, while he emphasized that the disease from the Kraken mutation is not more severe, but is far more contagious.
Asked how a possible arrival of the Kraken would affect the population of Cyprus, given the immunity that already exists, Dr. Koliou said that “what we would not like to see is a rapid increase in the epidemic curve”. but what we want is that this curve is not too fast and sharp”.
He added that even if each new variant has a low percentage of serious cases, when there are too many cases, there will be correspondingly more serious cases, which will require hospitalization in hospitals or the Intensive Care Unit, resulting in a burden on the system, especially at the moment when the seasonal flu shows very high activity.
He noted that the aim should be to slow down the evolution of the variant, when it comes to Cyprus, stressing that this will be achieved by observing self-protection measures< /p>
“Either with vaccines, or with the use of a protective mask in closed spaces, even with a double mask. Let's keep our distance and ensure good ventilation in the places we travel”, recommended Dr. Koliu.
Asked if the Scientific Advisory Committee has discussed the adoption of stricter measures in the event that the Kraken arrives in Cyprus, she said that first they will have to see how the situation will develop, if and when the Kraken arrives here as well mutation.
“What will worry us is the rapid increase in the epidemic curve. And in such a case it will be discussed whether measures should be taken or not. But we must first see how the situation will develop when it comes”, he said.
He also added that in order to avoid a rapid increase, self-protection measures must be observed “otherwise the state if it sees that the numbers are increasing dangerously hospitalizations and those intubated, then he should take action”.
At 50% flu activity last week
The seasonal flu is very active in Cyprus, which last week, according to data from the Ministry of Health, reached 50% of its activity, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics-Infectious Diseases at the Medical School of the University of Cyprus, Dr. Maria Koliou.
According to Dr. Koliou, the cases of seasonal flu are constantly increasing, while he estimates that a further upward trend of its activity in Cyprus is expected in the next period.
He explained to KYPE that of the 100 cases that are suspected of being flu and for which samples are sent for testing, “half are flu”.
As he noted, the flu in Cyprus this year came earlier than in the past and in particular it appeared in mid-December, to add that for two years, when everything was closed due to a pandemic, not a single incident had been recorded.
It should be noted that in Cyprus the flu usually appears on last week of December or first week of January.
However, Dr. Koliou said that this year when everything was opened, the flu “came back severe”, as in all states.
“It is quite intense. We know that last week flu activity was at 50%. This means that of the 100 cases that are suspected to be influenza and for which we send samples, half are influenza,” he said.
In response to a related question, Dr. Koliou said that the peak of the flu curve in Cyprus, which reaches 90%, is recorded at the beginning of February, while he estimates that until then there will be a further increase in activity.
Also, Maria Koliou he said that the rates of hospitalizations from influenza have increased significantly compared to other diseases.
When asked how the situation will develop in the event that Covid 19 and the flu work together, he replied that “a more serious illness may occur “, again urging vulnerable groups to be vaccinated in order to prevent the coexistence of the two viruses as much as possible.