Finland regions

Finland has had the worst of the current variants of the coronavirus, expert tells YLE

THE PATIENTS with Covid-19 no longer exert a significant strain on healthcare resources in the Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District (HUS).

YLE reported on Saturday that the hospital district had fewer than 40 coronavirus patients in hospital care and zero patients in intensive care on Thursday. More than two-thirds of patients had also sought treatment primarily for reasons other than Covid-19, said Asko Jarvinenchief medical officer for infectious diseases at the HUS.

“Only very few need supplemental oxygen due to coronavirus infection. A presentation of the disease where the oxygen supply is interrupted has become extremely rare,” he told the public broadcasting company. .

This positive development is attributable to two factors: the protection offered by vaccines and the emergence of highly transmissible but less dangerous variants of the new coronavirus.

“Vaccines continue to provide good protection against serious disease presentations. The new omicron subvariants also do not cause severe pneumonia to the same extent as the previous variants,” explained Järvinen.

Even though the number of infections may start to rise later in the fall and early winter as the immunity built up earlier this year begins to wane, he doesn’t think another wave of infections will would cause intensive care units to be filled to the same degree as before. .

“Many have had the disease this year, which reduces the ability of current viruses to cause a wider epidemic. The epidemic continues and infections continue to occur,” he said. “If a new type of virus that can evade immune protection emerges in late fall, I think it’s likely there will be even more infections early in the year.”

The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) also reported that the epidemiological situation has stabilized after the slight increases detected in late summer and early autumn. Wastewater analyses, for example, are detecting fewer and fewer traces of the coronavirus.

Tuija Leinochief medical officer of THL, recalled that the situation continues to vary from one region to another, with some registering slight increases in the number of infections and hospitalizations.

“It is increasingly rare for coronavirus to be the primary reason for treatment,” she added. “We still have a highly transmissible omicron variant that moves pretty much unrestricted. At the same time, we have very good population immunity thanks to both infections and widespread vaccinations. This stabilizes the situation.

She considered that the prevalent variants are unlikely to cause rapid fluctuations in the epidemiological situation. A new variant, on the other hand, can produce another spike in infections.

“I would say we’ve seen the main effects of the outbreak with the current type of virus,” Leino said. “Vaccinations in the fall and early winter are an attempt to reduce the remaining effects of the pandemic as much as possible.”

Aleksi Teivainen – HT