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Omicron survives longer on plastic, skin than prior variants; nose swabbing found best for rapid tests

The following is a abstract of some latest research on COVID-19. They embody analysis that warrants additional examine to corroborate the findings and that has but to be licensed by peer overview.

Omicron survives longer on plastic and skin

The Omicron variant can survive longer than earlier variations of the coronavirus on plastic surfaces and human skin, Japanese researchers found in laboratory tests.

Its excessive “environmental stability” – its capability to stay infectious – may need helped Omicron change Delta because the dominant variant and unfold quickly, they mentioned. On plastic surfaces, common survival instances of the unique pressure and the Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta variants have been 56 hours, 191.3 hours, 156.6 hours, 59.3 hours, and 114.0 hours, respectively. That in comparison with 193.5 hours for Omicron, the researchers reported on bioRxiv forward of peer overview. On skin samples from cadavers, common virus survival instances have been 8.6 hours for the unique model, 19.6 hours for Alpha, 19.1 hours for Beta, 11.0 hours Gamma, 16.8 hours for Delta and 21.1 hours for Omicron.

On skin, all the variants have been utterly inactivated by 15 seconds of publicity to alcohol-based hand sanitizers. “Therefore,” the researchers conclude, “it is highly recommended that current infection control (hand hygiene) practices use disinfectants… as proposed by the World Health Organization.”

Nose swabbing best for rapid antigen tests

Users of rapid antigen tests to detect COVID-19 ought to swab their nostrils as directed by the producer and never swab the throat or cheek as an alternative, new analysis exhibits.

Earlier this month, with Omicron accounting for practically all coronavirus infections in San Francisco, researchers there carried out each PCR and Abbott Laboratories’ BinaxNOW rapid antigen check on 731 individuals requesting COVID-19 tests. Nasal swabbing “detected over 95per cent of persons with the highest levels of virus who are most likely contagious,” mentioned Dr. Diane Havlir of the University of California, San Francisco. In 115 volunteers with optimistic PCR tests, her group in contrast BinaxNOW outcomes utilizing swab samples from the nose and the throat obtained by educated professionals. Throat swabs detected practically 40per cent fewer instances than nose swabs, they reported on medRxiv forward of peer overview. A separate examine from Spain, additionally posted on medRxiv, found that swabbing the within of the cheek additionally is much much less dependable than nostril swabbing for detecting infectious virus. Recent research had steered that Omicron is detectable earlier within the throat than within the nose, main some consultants to advise customers to swab the throat, though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration maintained the tests must be used as directed.

“These data support using BinaxNOW from nasal swabs as directed on the package,” Havlir mentioned. “Repeat rapid testing is recommended for those with negative BinaxNOW rapid tests and symptoms or an exposure” to an contaminated particular person.

Long-term care services hit much less laborious by Omicron

Even the extremely weak residents of long-term care services are typically experiencing much less extreme illness from Omicron than from earlier variations of the coronavirus, in accordance with new knowledge.

Researchers in England in contrast hospitalization charges in residents of 333 services earlier than and after the Omicron variant turned dominant. Among 398 residents contaminated prior to the emergence of Omicron, 10.8per cent required hospitalization, in contrast with 4per cent of 1,241 contaminated with Omicron. The common age of contaminated residents was 85 years. After accounting for different danger elements, the percentages of hospitalization have been 50per cent decrease for contaminated sufferers within the Omicron interval, the researchers reported on Sunday on medRxiv forward of peer overview. While most facility residents had been vaccinated and about 10per cent had been beforehand contaminated, the discount in relative danger of hospitalization between the pre-Omicron and Omicron durations was best amongst Omicron-infected sufferers who had obtained vaccine booster doses, at 77per cent. The researchers have additionally seen fewer deaths from COVID-19 within the Omicron interval, though they mentioned it was too quickly to attract agency conclusions concerning the variant’s impact of mortality.

“Overall,” they conclude, “the markedly decreased severity combined with high vaccination uptake and prior natural infection can be expected to significantly limit the impact of the current wave of Omicron infections on hospitalizations and deaths in residents of long-term care facilities.”

Click for a Reuters graphic https://tmsnrt.rs/3c7R3Bl on vaccines in improvement.

(Reporting by Nancy Lapid; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

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