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what we know about the Cerberus variant



Covid (archive) - Photo by Ansa FotoCovid (archive) – Photo by Ansa Foto

If Cerberus’ diffusion trend doesn’t slow, the new subvariant will become “the dominant strain between November and early December,” says Ceinge of Naples. But the ECDC also agrees, as does the EMA, that it expects a surge of cases in the coming weeks fueled by the new, more transmissible and immune-evasive subvariants.

Where was Cerberus detected?

Cerberus is already racing in the United States, where, along with the BQ1 variant, it accounts for at least 27% of cases. From data released by the WHO on October 27, we know that the BQ.1 branch to which Cerberus belongs has been reported in 65 countries on Earth. The other subvariant, XBB and XBB.1, has been reported in 35 countries.

The cases in Europe

Le Ceinge notes that currently 35% of Covid cases in France, England, Germany and Denmark are caused by Cerberus, while in Italy the percentage stops at 7%.

What to expect is a new wave of Covid in November. According to the Neapolitan study center, “a growth trend of the BQ.1.1 subvariant with a short-term doubling is possible”. The effects in hospitals are not yet known, but we must “be careful with the possibility of saying that there are no more new waves of Sars-CoV-2 infections”.

Ciccozzi: “Cerberus is like Omicron”

At our microphones, epidemiologist Massimo Ciccozzi, full professor of medical and epidemiological statistics at the Biomedico Campus of the University of Rome, tempers concerns about Cerberus: “I heard that we will have a massacre, but no one studied. We have studied it and it is like Omicron 5. Between Friday and Monday we will publish an article about it”.

According to preliminary laboratory studies conducted in Asia, it appears that Cerberus is able to evade the immune system response. However, based on the available data, there does not appear to be evidence that BQ.1 is associated with major infection compared to Omicron BA.4 and BA.4.

Bassetti: ‘Cases will increase, but probably not serious’

“There will be an increase in cases, although probably not serious”, assured the infectiologist Matteo Bassetti, director of the Clinic of infectious diseases of the hospital of Genoa, on the social networks: “We will have many people affected of flu-like forms in the coming weeks (fever, cough, sore throat, headache, cold) due to a highly contagious variant, but which is no longer lethal Since Cerberus can escape the times to natural immunity and old vaccines and those made more than 6-8b months earlier, frail people should stand out and do the 2022 booster”.

Call from the WHO: “Get vaccinated”

WHO Europe Regional Director Hans Kluge speaks of a “friendly reminder: the pandemic is not over” and “even young people are vulnerable”. Currently “we are in a much better position, but too many people are still not vaccinated. Get Covid vaccinations, including boosters, and even flu vaccinations “before winter.

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