Why is omicron more transmissible and what should we know about this new variant in Cuba?  (+ Podcast)

During the recording of El podcast de Cubadebate at the Nexos studios at the Faculty of Communication. Photo: Cubadebate.

Over the past two months, it has increasingly made headlines around the world. A simple search in Google trends places it as one of the most searched terms between November and December 2021 — also in Cuba—, although symptoms, strain, vaccines are some of the themes that in this new year continue to be recurrent in the user searches.

We talk about omicron, the genetic variant of the coronavirus that has come to remind us that this pandemic is not over yet, and that learning to live with SARS-CoV-2 and to protect ourselves is essential.

The World Health Organization warned this Wednesday that only in the first week of 2022, 15 million new cases of COVID-19 were reported worldwide, the highest number reported in a single week. Behind these figures is omicron and the scale of virus transmission unprecedented in previous waves of infections. It is still being investigated in order to assess its transmissibility, severity and risk of reinfection. But there is a fact: the transmissibility of omicron exceeds delta, the genetic variant of the coronavirus that was imposed before in the world.

Doctor of Science María Guadalupe Guzmán and Doctor Carlos Fonseca Gómez in El podcast de Cubadebate. Photo: Cubadebate.

Now, what happens in Cuba? Where we have also seen the number of infections grow again. What can science tell us so far about this new variant? How has the epidemic evolved from a clinical point of view in the country? How is Cuba facing this new wave?

If you want to know about the behavior of omicron in the country, listen to this podcast from Cubadebate and the criteria of our guests: Doctor of Science María Guadalupe Guzmán, head of the Center for Research, Diagnosis and Reference of the Pedro Kourí Institute of Tropical Medicine (IPK) , Academic of Merit of the Academy of Sciences of Cuba; the World Academy of Sciences and the Organization of Women Scientists for the Developing World, recently awarded the L’Oréal-Unesco Prize for Women in Science 2022; and Dr. Carlos Fonseca Gómez, specialist in internal medicine, and a master’s degree in Infectology, from the IPK.

During the recording of El podcast de Cubadebate at the Nexos studios at the Faculty of Communication. Photo: Cubadebate.

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