Corona: According to wastewater analyses, the peak of the current wave has been passed for the time being

2023-12-14 15:07:00

Of those hospitalized with respiratory infections, around two thirds have Covid-19, as the figures show.

The highest corona wave in Austria since wastewater analyzes began has probably passed its peak. “The first signals clearly show that things are starting to go down in several sewage treatment plants across the country,” said molecular biologist Ulrich Elling in the Ö1 “Mittagsjournal” on Thursday. “There may still be a bit of uncertainty in the data due to the melting snow, but overall it clearly looks like we have passed the peak.”

In the analyses, the amount of virus is offset against the total amount of wastewater and this is “very diluted” by the snow melt, but this is taken into account. Another uncertainty is the rise of the omicron subvariant JN.1. This could prolong the wave or lead to another peak in a few weeks. According to Elling, the influenza numbers will reach their peak around Christmas and the RS virus (RSV) levels are already higher than last year, said the expert with a view to hospitalizations.

Significant increase in hospital admissions in Vienna

“We have been recording a significant increase in hospital admissions for about two to four weeks,” said pulmonary doctor Arshang Valipour from the Floridsdorf Clinic in Vienna. Many of those affected are elderly or have comorbidities or it has been more than six months since their last vaccination. “We also expect these numbers to continue to rise in the next few weeks,” explained Valipour.

Of the large number of patients with respiratory diseases in hospitals, “two thirds of those affected actually have an acute Covid infection”. The intensive care units are “no longer an issue”, but some Covid patients still end up in intensive care units, the specialist warned.

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