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Peru: In which Lima districts has COVID-19 Omicron variant been detected?

Photo: ANDINA/Diffusion

Photo: ANDINA/Diffusion

14:44 | Lima, Dec. 24.

The Ministry of Health (Minsa) has revealed in which districts of Lima Metropolitan Area and Callao region Omicron variant cases have been detected.

Within this framework, the government agency called on the population to behave responsibly so as to reduce the risk of transmission during end-of-year holidays.

The Omicron variant —whose first cases were announced on December 19— has already been found in 16 Lima districts and Callao, although the latter has only reported one, said Cesar Munayco, Executive-Director of Public Health Surveillance at the National Center for Epidemiology, Prevention, and Disease Control (CDC) in Peru.

Regarding Metropolitan Lima, Omicron has been detected in Jesus Maria, La Molina, La Perla, Lima Center, Lurin, Magdalena del Mar, Miraflores, Pueblo Libre, San Borja, San Isidro, San Luis, San Martin de Porres, San Miguel, Santiago de Surco, Surquillo, and Villa Maria del Triunfo.


Dr. Munayco pointed out that although 47 cases have so far been detected in the capital city, it is very likely that there might be more, and there is a high risk that new cases will appear in regions which have greater interaction with Lima.

Likewise, the expert said that Omicron is worrying because it has shown 52 mutations in important areas such as the spike protein, which helps the virus enter the human cell, thus turning it into a more contagious variant. According to estimates, it is 2 or 3 times more transmissible than the Delta variant.

"In Peru, as is happening in the (rest of the) world, the Omicron variant will start to oust Delta. There is a high risk of an increase in cases and even more so now on Christmas and New Year holidays; that is why we urge people to behave responsibly," he remarked.

Symptoms

Usually, patients infected with the Omicron variant have had mild symptoms such as: sore throat, nasal congestion or general malaise.

However, this can be mistaken for a regular cold. Thus, the person might continue going to work without knowing that he/she is infecting others.

In this regard, Dr. Munayco recommended (in case of any symptoms) wearing face mask at home, quarantining, and getting tested to rule out or confirm the disease, thus not infecting others.

Long COVID

According to Dr. Munayco, it is best not to become infected because the patient's health (problems) can become complicated or the person might even die if he/she is not vaccinated or has not received a booster dose.

However, if a person is saved, there is a 10% to 20% risk of suffering from long-term COVID (long COVID).

"In other words, they could have more concentration problems, headaches, anxiety for a long time, according to recent studies," he indicated.

(END) RRC/MVB

Published: 12/24/2021
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