“There is currently no knowledge that there are contact persons here in Salzburg. The supraregional contact tracing of AGES, since the flight passengers have to be contacted, has fully started, ”says State Medical Director Petra Juhasz. The Viennese had apparently shown a PCR test at his second home in a test street, this sample was conspicuous and is now being sequenced in a Salzburg laboratory.
Stricter contact tracing
In any case, the contact tacing in the federal state of Salzburg was adapted last week immediately after the new variant B.1.1.529 became known. “Every suspected case is given priority by us, the travel history is made precisely, the PCR sample is sequenced and the contact persons are collected and separated,” says State Medical Director Petra Juhasz.
Contact tracing in suspected omicron cases
- Index persons are interviewed
- Strict contact person management (vaccinated and unvaccinated)
- Separation of contact persons K1 for at least ten days
- Free testing is not possible for either the index person or the contact person
- Contact persons K2 are traffic restricted
“Omikron is probably unstoppable”
Due to the many suspected cases in Europe and also in Austria of the Omikron variant, the State Medical Director sums up: “Similar to the Delta variant, this one too will probably not be able to be stopped. At best, we can slow it down. Initial evidence suggests that it could be more contagious. It is important to me to emphasize: Please do not wait for an ‘adapted’ vaccine to be vaccinated or to be refreshed. ‘Protect now’ is the motto, because the previous vaccines should also show against the new effects according to the previous version of knowledge. “
Returning travelers from the countries especially in the south of Africa should contact the health hotline 1450 with the password “Returning travelers South Africa”.
Routine testing for mutations
Basically, the contracts with the laboratories in Salzburg provide that a certain number of the positive total samples are routinely analyzed for mutations. Suspected cases are then immediately reported to the epidemiological reporting system and the state medical directorate and sent to AGES for sequencing.
Lifebrain gets kits to track them down
The company Lifebrain, who die in Vienna and die in the state of Salzburg, “Everything gurgles!” – carries out PCR tests, is equipped with the appropriate kits to also track down the Omikron variant of the coronavirus. “Today or tomorrow we can start,” a company spokesman told the PA on Monday. In the future, the positive tests for “Alles gurgelt!” additionally examined for omicron. A preliminary suspicion can then be established during the renewed examination. However, AGES is still responsible for the very complex sequencing.
Medilab screens all positive samples
The Salzburg laboratory Medilab, which analyzes the officially ordered PCR tests in the state, already shows all positive samples for the new virus variant. The mutation analysis searches for mutations that die in the new Omikron variant, but not in the currently common delta variant. “If we find one of these mutations, it is a potential suspected Omikron case”, positive laboratory specialist Hans Georg Mustafa in the APA interview. In the course of this week, primers will be developed in the laboratory with which the new variant can already be proven. The significantly more time-consuming sequencing then only follows as a precaution.
At Novogenia, the Eugendorf biotech laboratory that, among other things, handles the “Salzburg gurgelt” PCR tests, there is no nationwide screening for the new variant. As a spokesman for the company said to the APA, an official order is needed. Otherwise, Novogenia, like other laboratories, is obliged to screen some of the samples for mutations.
(Source: APA / SALZBURG24)