Corona virus

SARS-CoV-2

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Weekly report - calendar week 03/2023

Case numbers increased slightly over the past week, with the 7-day incidence as of Jan. 24, 2023 in Austria at 161.5/100,000 population (previous week 152.6/100,000 population).

After an upward trend since mid-November, a decrease in new cases was observed from the end of December. Now, case numbers have reached a plateau. The number of tests has been lower than in recent months since calendar week 51 over the holidays and the turn of the year.

Hospitalizations in the normal care unit increased from the end of November and have decreased again in the last three weeks. As of Jan. 24, 2023, there are 608 patient:ing in a normal care unit. In the ICUs, COVID-19 bed occupancy continues to remain stable at a low level, with 51 occupied ICU beds as of 01/24/2023.

Laboratory-confirmed cases since 24/12/2022

7-day incidence per 100,000 p.e. since 24/12/2022

Effective reproduction number since 24/12/2022

Every week, we publish the estimated effective reproduction number (Reff) for Austria and by province, as well as the estimated rate of increase, the so-called epidemiological parameters.

Austria-wide surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 variants

As part of the sentinel variant surveillance system, SARS-CoV-2 positive samples are subjected to whole genome sequencing. Samples are selected on a random basis. The aim of this surveillance system is to detect the emergence of new SARS-CoV-2 variants with reliable accuracy.

Variants

The Omikron variant BA.5* has been dominant in Austria since week23 (2022). The share of BA.5* cases is decreasing. At the beginning of November, the share was still over 95%, in week02 it was still around 65%. The majority of BA.5* cases are due to BA.5* sublines BQ.1* (especially BQ.1.1*). BA.5* lines with a mutation at the S:R346T site, such as BF.7*, continue to decline and now account for only 5% of the total number of cases.

BA.2* cases, on the other hand, are increasing rapidly, driven by a significant increase in BA.2.75* sublines. BA.2* currently accounts for about a quarter of all cases. Within BA.2.75*, the largest proportion is in those sublines that also carry a mutation at position S:R346T such as CH.1.1* and BN.1*. Approximately 10% of all cases are caused by the recombinant XBB*, with XBB.1.5* accounting for a majority of these cases. XBB* and especially XBB.1.5* are increasing rapidly and steadily. The variant may reach dominance in this country in February.

In global data reported in GISAID in week52, BA.5* (including BQ.1*) continues to dominate with a 70.5% share. BA.2* accounts for 15.7% of sequences, with BA.2.75* accounting for the largest share. BA.4* remained at 0.6%. Recombinants such as XBB* have a 10.1% share.

Percentage variant distribution of the successfully sequenced samples

Mutations repeatedly cause a line to split into several slightly different lines, these are called sublines. They are often given their own names and numbers, which means that the relationships are not always obvious (as for example in the case of subline BQ.1, which belongs to BA.5*, see legend).

Legend:

* = variant including associated sublines

BQ.1 = BA.5 + S:K444T, S:N460K BQ.1.1 = BQ.1 + S:R346T BA.2.75 = BA.2 + S:K147E, S:W152R, S:F157L, S:I210V, S:G257S, S:G339H, S:G446S, S:N460K, S:R493Q CH.1.1 = BA.2.75 + S:L452R, S:R346T, S:K444T, S:F486S BN.1 = S:R346T, S:F490S XBB = recombinant of BA.2.10.1 + BA.2.75 XBB.1.5 = XBB + S:G252V, S:F486P

Sequenced cases by calendar week

Specialized information

Technical information, recommendations for action, and general information materials on coronavirus can be found on the Ministry of Health website.

Product information (technical and instructions for use) on COVID-19 vaccines can be found at the Federal Office for Safety in Health Care (BASG).

Details on the national and international situation can be found in the regular reports of GECKO - Overall National COVID Crisis Coordination.

The current risk assessment for COVID-19 in Austria by province is conducted by the Corona Commission and updated weekly. Corona traffic light

All vaccination recommendations for Austria can be found on the website of the National Vaccination Panel, like further information on vaccination on the vaccination dashboard

Last updated: 25.01.2023

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