Elad Maor initially feared he would have exposed hundreds of people to the virus when he got the . became first Israeli to test positive for the new Omicron variant on Saturday morning.
In the three days before his positive results, dr. Maor, a cardiologist, had attended a large staff meeting in his hospital in the East of Tel-Aviv. He had stents in the arteries placed of 10 patients. And he had driven to a cardiology conference north of Tel Aviv, parts of the 90 minutes car trip with a 70-year-old colleague, and had lunch there with five others in a crowded cafeteria.
dr. Maor, 45, had attended a piano recital with tens in the public, where are 13-year-old played a short piece by Stephen Heller, a Hungarian composer. And finally, last Friday evening, Dr. But eaten sea bass at the . home of to be in-laws, together with his wife and nine others family members.
But of these many people, most of die got three shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, only its 70-year-old colleague has tested positive so far for the Omicron variant in the five days since.
That number is still possible rise, as it may take a few days for the virus to show up in tests, and not every contact has been tested. But at least 50 people to have already screened with a PCR test by the hospital of Dr. Maor, the Sheba Medical Center, and at least 10 of die have been tested at least three times.
these initials results led the infectious disease experts in sheba, die houses one of Israel’s leading coronavirus labs, to cautiously hope people who have been vaccinated three times times may not be as vulnerable to Omicron as wax first feared.
Although Dr. Maori met with a lot of people last week, almost all of they were health workers of close to family members. And the people he had spent most of his time with were fully vaccinated and had even recently had a third “booster” shot.
It is important not to extrapolate too much from isolated cases, said Prof. Gili Regev-Yochay, director of the department of epidemiology of infectious diseases in sheba, who has helped lead research in the virus. “But this does say” us Which, in in in some cases, Omicron isn’t as contagious if you’re vaccinated,” said Prof. Regev-Yochay. “And I think that’s an important thing.”
to dr. but, who was still in isolation Bee home on Wednesday night it was still worrying that he had been hit So hard by the virus, despite being fully vaccinated himself and despite being a fit non-smoker with no chronic medical conditions. The cardiologist spent Saturday and Sunday in bed with fever, sore throat and sore muscles – and only started to feel significantly better on Wednesday afternoon.
“Despite everything, despite the vaccines and the booster, I was in bed for 48 hourssaid Dr Maor: in a telephone interview. “If I hadn’t had the vaccine, I probably would have stopped” up in the hospital.”
To Prof. Regev-Yochay, the coronavirus expert, die from her colleague experience marked the need for travelers to keep testing themselves and avoid busy place for a few extra days after arriving from a country with high infection rates.
dr. Maor has arrived back last Wednesday from London, where he had attended another well-attended cardiology conference. Because he tested negative twice in London, and a third time on arrival back in Israel, he had thought he was safe to operate normally. But are experience marked how the virus may not show up in to test for multiple days.
Which shows that ideally, each new arrival to the country would be tested every morning for at least five days after they land, Prof. Regev-Yochay said.
“People should be careful,” she said. “Every day on daily food.”
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