Netherlands

RIVM is investigating previously taken test samples for Omikron variant

Photo: ANP

RIVM is not only investigating new, but also previously taken test samples for the Omikron variant of the coronavirus. A spokesperson will let you know if asked. “We are going to see if it was already in the Netherlands before last week.”

Using a technique called sequence analysis, the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment can examine the genetic material of the virus. In collaboration with other labs, for example at Erasmus MC, the institute subjects approximately 1800 samples to such a closer study. This system is called germ surveillance. It is the way scientists monitor the spread of different virus variants.

The spokesperson could not say how far RIVM will look back in search of the Omikron variant. The Netherlands is not the only country to conduct this type of research. This kind of research is also underway in Scotland. There it will be examined whether the new variant was perhaps already present in mid-November. At least six infections with Omikron have been found in Scotland. The variant has also appeared in England. There, infections were found at a school in Essex that could not be traced back to a trip to southern Africa, where the variant was discovered. This indicates that the virus is already one step further and is also spreading locally.

The Delta variant has been dominant in germination surveillance for months. A small number of tests are of the variant AY.4.2, a sub-variant of Delta. It has been found in the Netherlands since August. It has a ‘market share’ of approximately 2 percent.

Omikron has now been found at least fourteen times, among travelers returning from South Africa. Later on Tuesday, RIVM expects to come up with more results from sequence analyzes on tests that have recently been conducted on people who have been to southern Africa.



RIVM is investigating previously taken test samples for Omikron variant
Source link RIVM is investigating previously taken test samples for Omikron variant

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