NEWS THAT MATTERS

The next covid wave

is coming and it’s super-infectious

Central Coast residents are reminded to be vigilant and keep up their hygiene practices as Covid-19 cases surge on the Coast and another infectious variant is reported in Europe and are anticipated to be on Australian shores in no time.

29 March 2022

ALAN HAYES

 

THE new sub-variant, Deltacron, is a hybrid of the Delta and Omicron variants and is expected to have the same detrimental impact on human lives as Delta, coupled with the high transmission rates of Omicron. It contains genes from both variants, making it what is known as a recombinant virus.

 

Professor Lawrence Young, a virologist at the University of Warwick in Coventry, England, says “These recombinants arise when more than one variant infects and replicates in the same person, in the same cells.”

 

“Deltacron is a product of both the Delta and Omicron variants circulating in the same population,” he said.

A global community of scientists, who share virus information, posted earlier this month that he first solid evidence for this variant had been shared by the Pasteur Institute in France.

 

The variant has been identified in several regions of France and appears to have been circulating since the start of the year. Genomes with a similar profile have been also identified in Denmark and the Netherlands.

 

There have also been reports of Deltacron being detected in the US, and about 30 cases have been detected in the UK, according to the UK Health Security Agency.

 

Experts have been quick to stress that recombinant variants are not uncommon, and that Deltacron is not the first and will not be the last to occur for Covid. However, Central Coast Labor MPs encourage Coasties to enjoy post-lockdown freedoms, however, they should be prepared for living alongside Covid as a new norm.

 

They also encourage any Coasties who haven’t yet had their initial two vaccines and a booster to do so before the next wave hits. Getting onto this is important as it can take up to 14 days from your booster shot to provide full protection.

 

On 16 March, Gosford Hospital reported 3 patients in ICU and a significant increase in patients who require care from the Covid Community support team. Sadly, last Tuesday (22 March), the Coast reported its first Covid-related death in nearly three weeks.

 

Schools are also continuing to face Covid-related challenges, following an increase of 10-15 per cent of confirmed cases in school students last week alone. This is impacting classes, teachers and families as we see some schools reverting back to part-online learning.

 

Only one local aged-care facility has experienced a Covid outbreak, which is some evidence that the vaccinations are working.

 

Shadow Minister for the Central Coast, David Harris said “People in vulnerable groups such as the elderly and those with respiratory and underlying health risk should be particularly vigilant at this time. Following simple procedures such as hand sanitising and mask wearing may reduce the chances of contracting the new variant.”

 

Member for Swansea, Yasmin Catley said “We as a community have worked so hard to get through a very difficult 2021, it is important we don’t get complacent. For those that are eligible please get vaccinated and boosted to help protect yourself and your community.

 

“Vaccinations are available from your local pharmacy, GP, or the vaccination clinics at Wyong or Gosford Hospitals”.

 

The Entrance MP, David Mehan said “There are now many vaccine options available on the Coast and I encourage everyone to who hasn’t already done so to get vaccinated or get that booster shot.”

 

Member for Gosford, Liesl Tesch said “We need to be fully vaccinated and keep social distancing and hygiene practices as part of our daily routine.”

 

“Cases are increasing substantially on the Coast. We have seen a tripling of daily cases on the since last week which recorded at 1298 on Tuesday this week. Now is not the time to be complacent.”

 

“Deltacron is not the first and will not be the last variant that we see here on the Coast. Please remember to stay vigilant, keep up your social distancing and hygiene practices and keep yourself and your loved ones safe as we move into the cooler months.”

 

“Getting vaccinated in our best defence and we urge all Central Coast residents who have not had their booster to get protected now.”

 

Gosford Hospital has ample appointment times available for all vaccines and people can also contact their local GP or chemist to book in.

 

The highly awaited Novavax, which is a protein-based vaccine, is now available at Gosford Hospital.

 

For your local testing area visit NSW Health at www.health.nsw.gov.au.

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