Warning of new wave of Covid infections across Europe due to new variants

Warning of new wave of Covid infections across Europe due to new variants

The new Covid-19 variants BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 have now been detected in five EU countries including Spain, and cases are expected to rise significantly in the next few weeks. At the moment this variant only accounts for 2.7% of cases in Spain, but the Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, has said it could be dominant by the end of November, or in early December, and experts believe it could be responsible for over 50% of cases in Europe in coming weeks.

This variant has been nicknamed “dog of hell” or “hellhound” on social media, eluding to Cerberus the three-headed dog belonging to the god Hades in Greek mythology which guarded the gates to the underworld.

At present, there is no indication that this variant poses an extra risk, but the health authorities are asking anyone who has not yet been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 to do so.

Omicron and its variants are likely to cause symptoms such as sore throat, cough, a general feeling of being unwell, Aphonia (loss of voice), diarrhoea, and a runny nose, in people who have not been vaccinated or previously had the virus and are not immune-suppressed, or suffer from serious health problems.

Currently, anyone can have their first or second vaccine if they haven’t had them yet; over the 60s can book an appointment for the new second booster/fourth jab; and anyone aged 5 to 59 with pathologies such as diabetes, heart, kidney, breathing problems, or obesity, can book it too.