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"If it becomes dominant, winter may be difficult"

According to virologist Christian Drosten, the coronavirus pandemic may soon end. However, he warns of a possible severe winter wave.

The virologist

Christian Drosten sees the rapid succession of the latest corona waves as a sign that the corona pandemic will soon end. However, whether next winter will be harsh again depends on which omicron variant of the virus prevails, Drosten said in the latest issue of “Zeit”.

“Right now, two variants of Omicron are starting: BF.7 and BQ.1.1. BF.7 would be the best case, this variant is very similar to BA.5, against which a large part of the population is already immune.” Then there will be a gentle winter wave, the virologist said. With the BF.7 it would have “reached endemic status”.

In the case of BQ.1.1, however, “it would not be so clear, because there is further immune escape here.” The virus can best escape the immune system of those who are already infected or vaccinated. And indeed, BQ.1.1 is catching up in several European countries. “If it becomes dominant, winter could be difficult again,” Drosten said.

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