A new variant of coronavirus, dubbed the ‘DeltaCron’, has been sending cases skywards around the world.
It's expected there will be a peak of infections next month in Australia.
However, this may not necessarily be a bad thing.
According to the experts, the escalating rate of infections might actually prove helpful in the future.
Right now you can scroll through medical Twitter & get everything from "BA2 deserves it's own Greek letter & a big wave is coming" to "BA2 will have minimal affect". I know this: COVID-19 is still everywhere & incredibly contagious. I'll be masking in EVERY indoor public place.😷— David Christopher MLS 🇺🇦 (@MLS_Dave) March 30, 2022
Professor Tony Blakely from the University of Melbourne’s school of population and global health spoke to ABC News Daily saying that the new variant could actually be beneficial in the long term.
“It sounds a little bit callous and brutal … but this will infect as many people as it needs to infect before [it] peters out," Prof Blakely said.
“That's just the reality. We need to accept that."
However, as was discovered when Omicron came rolling through, there is always a possibility of a more aggressive variant around the corner.
That’s where actually falling sick with the current variant may prove handy as it could provide a level of immunity for the future.
Professor Blakely continued on the podcast, saying: “With the assumption that Omicron BA.2 doesn't have much of a legacy or seriousness of long-COVID … those [who] are fit and healthy shouldn't be too worried about getting infected, and that infection will boost vaccine immunity to make us more resilient for whatever comes along.
"Somebody who is naturally infected and triple vaccinated is going to be much safer, should a bad variant come along, than somebody who is just naturally infected, or just vaccinated.”
The new sub-variant of Omicron is about 25 per cent more infectious than its predecessor, but is no deadlier.
However, the need to protect the vulnerable, such as the elderly, still remains of utmost importance, with Prof Blakely not ruling out the possibility of an even deadlier variant coming to fruition.
"I'd say the chance of a variant that's not as friendly to us as a normal one happening before the end of this year is around 20 per cent," he said.
New pre-clinical data with a trivalent, variant-targeting NDV-HXP-S vaccine.— Florian Krammer (@florian_krammer) March 25, 2022
Wild type+Beta+Delta result in immunity to Omicron. https://t.co/0RT5lPBQlC
"Imagine that we had a variant come along that kicked off sideways from Kappa or Delta and had a few mutations that made it really infectious and as virulent as Delta. Then [we'd have] a problem."
Despite this, there is a new generation of vaccines in production that will play a significant role in the protection against any possible variants, which Blakely believes the Australian population may be best off waiting for.
He said: “What I hope will happen by the end of this year is [that] we'll all have had at least one dose of a next-generation vaccine that's got better coverage than the current ones.
"Many expect that we'll see, at least for the next five years or so, winter variants and maybe even spring and autumn variants come for a while, and we'll keep seeing these rolling foothills as we work our way off this mountain top.”
Sounds like we are still a fair bit away from getting off this Covid-boat.
Featured Image Credit: dpa picture alliance / Alamy. Vladimir Arndt / Alamy.
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