Karl Lauterbach warns of the “killer variant” of Corona – expert reviews

Germany corona pandemic

Experts slam Lauterbach’s warning of a ‘killer variant’

“It’s alarmist – talking about a murderous variant is questionable”

Health Minister Lauterbach warns of a new corona killer variant in the fall and is heavily criticized for it. “A killer variant is currently not visible through anything,” retorts Dr. Klaus Reinhardt, president of the German Medical Association.

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Contagious like Omicron, deadly like Delta? The Federal Minister of Health has received widespread criticism for his warning of a “killer variant”. “No expert can currently say for sure which variant we will have in the fall,” says a doctor.

BHealth Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) continues to receive heavy criticism for his warning of a possible “killer variant” of the corona virus. Virologist Hendrik Streeck told “Bild”: A variant as contagious as omicron and as dangerous as Delta is not impossible, but it is by no means a “killer variant”. Streeck also said: “Germany has a high vaccination rate and a number of people who have recovered and therefore good basic protection.

Lauterbach had previously expressed concern in the “Bild am Sonntag” about various omicron subvariants that had just been developed. “It’s entirely possible that we could get a highly contagious omicron variant as deadly as Delta. That would be an absolutely deadly option,” the SPD politician said.

Liberal health expert Christine Aschenberg-Dugnus told ‘Bild’ that she did not think it was “appropriate to discuss the possibility of a more serious viral variant at this time”. It has been scientifically proven that the corona virus mutates rapidly. “Today, no one can predict whether this is a dangerous variant.”

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The head of the intensive care clinic at the University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf, Stefan Kluge, sees it the same way. “No expert can currently say with certainty which variant we will have in the fall,” said Kluge, who is also a member of the presidency of the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (DIVI), the Funke media group. “However, we need to be prepared that another variant may emerge, leading to higher disease severity than is currently the case with the omicron variant.”

“Omicron currently leads to very few severe courses”

Kluge considers it “inappropriate” to describe a corona variant as a “killer variant”. There are other infections where the death rate is significantly higher than was the case with Covid-19 so far. This includes severe bacterial sepsis (blood poisoning). “The omicron variant currently leads to very few severe cases of Covid-19,” Kluge explained. “We currently have a mortality rate of less than 0.1% at Omikron, comparable to the flu.”

Kluge advised trying a campaign to get unvaccinated people over 60 to get vaccinated against the corona virus. “More basic vaccination in the population would help us considerably. In addition, vaccines need to be further developed. »

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According to data from the Robert Koch Institute on Monday, 76.1% of people in Germany received basic protection, which usually requires two injections. 59.1% also received a booster vaccination.

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“dictatorship of science”

But Kluge also warned that enough corona vaccines and tests should be available so that vaccination and testing centers can be restarted quickly if necessary. “Digitalization also needs to be pushed, in many areas of health we are missing important data,” he said. “Sufficient protective materials such as FFP2 masks for hospitals and other vulnerable areas are also needed.”

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