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Covid-19: hospitalizations drop to 45% among those infected with the Omicron variant – News



Researchers analyzed 56,000 Omicron and 269,000 Delta cases in England and concluded that people infected with the new variant had a 15-20% lower risk of hospitalization and a lower probability of hospitalization during that period. minus one night.

The study also emphasizes that those who have already been infected with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus have a 50-60% lower risk of hospitalization than the rest of the population.

At the same time, “the risk of hospitalization is similar for the Omicron and Delga variants in people who have already been vaccinated with at least two doses of the vaccine,” the scientists report.

The data “reflects the reduced efficacy of vaccines against the Omicron variant compared to Delta,” Imperial College researchers said in a statement cited by EFE.

Despite these findings, the study warns that “the risk of hospitalization in vaccinated people remains significantly lower than that of unvaccinated people.”

“Our analysis shows a modest reduction in the risk of hospitalization associated with the Omicron variant compared to the delta variant,” said epidemiologist Neil Ferguson, one of the study authors.

However, for Neil Ferguson, these data are “offset” by a decrease in the effectiveness of vaccines against the new variant due to the high transmissibility of the virus.

“The risk of increased hospitalizations for medical services remains if the number of infections with Omicron continues to grow at the rates recorded in recent weeks,” he stressed.

Epidemiologist Azra Ghani has already noted that “while reducing the risk of hospitalization with the Omicron variant provides peace of mind, the risk of infection remains extremely high.”

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“The booster dose continues to provide better protection against infection and hospitalization,” he said.

Another study by researchers from the Scottish universities of Edinburgh and Strathclyde suggested that the risk of hospitalization could be reduced by two-thirds with the Omicron variant compared to the Delta variant.

This investigation was the result of an analysis of 23,840 cases of suspected COVID-19 in the micron variant, of which 15 were hospitalized, compared to 47 assessed with the Delta variant.

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Bank of Portugal sees risk of falling house prices | Bank of Portugal



After four months of war in Ukraine and at a time when inflation reaches its highest level in decades, Banco de Portugal (BdP) is raising the tone of its financial stability risk warnings. Among the main risks now is the possibility of a “significant correction in market prices for residential real estate”, a scenario that, if confirmed, could have a direct impact on banks’ balance sheets.

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World’s largest bacteria found in Caribbean swamps



Scientists have discovered the world’s largest bacterium in a Caribbean swamp, which, unlike most, is not microscopic and can be seen with the naked eye, according to Science magazine.

The thin white thread, about the size of a human eyelash, is “by far the largest bacteria known to date,” said Jean-Marie Folland, a marine biologist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and co-author of the paper citing the discovery. made.

Olivier Gros, a co-author and biologist at the University of the French West Indies and Guyana, discovered the first specimen of this bacterium, named Thiomargarita magnifica, or “magnificent sulfur pearl,” clinging to underwater leaves in the Guadeloupe archipelago in the Caribbean. Sea, 2009

The scientist did not immediately determine that this is a bacterium, due to its surprisingly large size, since these bacteria reach an average length of 0.9 centimeters.

Only more recent genetic analyzes have shown that the organism is a single bacterial cell.

“This is an incredible discovery. It raises the question of how many of these giant bacteria exist in the world and reminds us not to underestimate bacteria,” said Petra Levin, a microbiologist at the University of Washington who was not involved in the study. .

Olivier Gros also found bacteria attached to oyster shells, rocks and glass bottles in the marshes of Guadeloupe.

Scientists haven’t been able to grow it in the lab yet, but researchers say the cell has an unusual structure for bacteria.

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The principal difference is that it has a large central compartment, or vacuole (a cavity in cellular protoplasm), which allows some cellular functions to be carried out in this controlled environment rather than in the entire cell.

“The acquisition of this large central vacuole definitely helps the cell bypass the physical limitations (…) of cell size,” said Manuel Campos, a biologist at the French National Center for Scientific Research who was not involved in the study.

The researchers also noted that they are not sure why the bacterium is so large, but co-author Jean-Marie Folland suggested that it may be an adaptation to help it avoid being eaten by smaller organisms.

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Jose Eduardo dos Santos hospitalized in intensive care – News



José Eduardo dos Santos has been admitted to a hospital in Barcelona, ​​the city where he has recently been living, and his condition is considered very serious, promotes business magazine.

This information was also confirmed to Lusa by a source close to the ex-head of state.

The internment came after the deteriorating health of the former president of Angola, who left power in 2017 after 38 years in office.

José Eduardo dos Santos, or “Zedu” as he was called in Angola, began his government work on November 11, 1975, as part of the country’s first government and then minister of foreign affairs.

For more than 40 years in power, in 1979, after replacing António Agostinho Neto, the first president of Angola, José Eduardo dos Santos ruled in peacetime for less than a decade and a half and only participated directly in elections twice (1992 and 2012). apart from legislative elections (2008).

Born on August 28, 1942 in Luanda, José Eduardo dos Santos lived until his youth in the Sambizanga region, in the Angolan capital, but left the country at the age of 19 when he was already part of underground groups opposed to the Portuguese colonial regime.

He is one of the founders of the MPLA Youth, which he coordinated abroad, and in 1962 he joined the People’s Army for the Liberation of Angola (EPLA), and the following year became the party’s first representative in Brazzaville, the capital of Angola. Republic of the Congo.

In September 1975, he joined the elite of the party, being an elected member of the Central Committee and the Politburo of the MPLA, naturally moving into the government of Agostinho Neto after the declaration of independence.

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It was as head of Angolan diplomacy that he achieved the first national goal for the then People’s Republic of Angola, which was at war. In 1976, after a tense diplomatic struggle, the country was recognized as a full member of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and the United Nations (UN).

In the meantime, he served as First Deputy Prime Minister in the government until December 1978, when he was appointed Minister of Planning until his call to the presidency, a position he held for 38 years.

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