The “perpetual catastrophe” behind us? Karine Lacombe “sees the exit door” of the Covid-19

This is what the infectologist and head of the department of infectious and tropical diseases at the Saint-Antoine Hospital in Paris tells The Conversation France

“We are coming out of the exceptionality of Covid.” In any case, this is the analysis of Karine Lacombe, infectologist and head of the department of infectious and tropical diseases at the Saint-Antoine Hospital in Paris, in an interview with The conversation France absorbed by the regional newspaper West of France.

Difficult to imagine when it is known that 217,480 new cases have been registered confirmed on Tuesday by Public Health Franceand that the reproduction rate of the virus is currently 1.3. As a reminder, if it is greater than 1, it means that the epidemic is spreading. In this way the sixth wave of Covid-19 is really underwayafter a gradual decline in the epidemic that began in February.

effect of the vaccine

“The virus, currently the Omicron BA.2 variant, has never disappeared,” analyzes Karine Lacombe. “His transmission has never been interrupted. However, despite the increase in the wave of positive cases, we are not seeing a parallel increase in hospitalizations and especially in intensive care.”

Hospitals had 21,688 covid-19 patients on Wednesday, a number far from the peaks of the epidemic, but still 5% more in a week. In intensive care, the number of patients is almost stable, at 1,546 compared to 1,564 the previous Wednesday.

According to her, the epidemic is taking another turn compared to its beginnings due in particular to vaccination. “On the evidence of the effect of vaccination at the level of hospitalizations. Among the tripletly vaccinated people and cells who are double vaccinated, the days of hospitalization and the first days. And the immunization is also developed in one infection.”

Consequently, he explains, “the profile of people who are currently hospitalized, who go to intensive care and who die, is completely different from what was observed at the beginning of the epidemic: they are mostly very old and immunosuppressed people.”

A virus now endemic

For Karine Lacombe, France is entering a new phase of the epidemic due to a population largely immunized by the vaccine or the virus cure. “In fact, it seems that the profile of the epidemic is changing: it is probably becoming endemic.” In other words, Covid will be permanently in our society but we could live with it.

“Today, at the moment, the signs seem quite positive and, despite the very high level of contamination, we do not have any indicators that are in the red in the hospital.”

So is this the beginning of the end of Covid? “There are quite revealing signs: (in the hospital) the Covid has entered a kind of… routine”, he believes. “We no longer have a sector specifically dedicated to that (…) We are coming out of the exceptionality of Covid, and that is very important.

“We see that we are going towards ‘living with’, that we are taking a new direction. Finally, we are no longer in the perpetual catastrophe: we see the way out.”

A door that would not be the disappearance of the Covid, but the coexistence with it.

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