NewsVirologist Stöhr criticizes Christian Drosten's omicron forecast: "Can't hear...

Virologist Stöhr criticizes Christian Drosten's omicron forecast: "Can't hear that anymore"

The coronavirus is changing and developing highly infectious variants. What virologist Christian Drosten says about this is sharply criticized by his colleague Stöhr.

Frankfurt – The omicron variant of the corona virus continues to cause high numbers of cases in Germany. In addition, there is a new subvariant “BA.2” of the corona mutant, which has hardly been researched so far. The Robert Koch Institute recently gave our editorial team the first details. Christian Drosten, virologist at the Charité Berlin, classified the situation in the NDR podcast “Coronavirus Update”: “The engine has a few more horsepower,” explained Drosten in relation to the actual Omicron variant. With “BA.1”, on the other hand, he was of the opinion that the variant could avoid the body’s immune response, which is why it spreads so quickly.

Virologist Klaus Stöhr countered Drosten’s omicron forecast. “I can’t hear these semantics anymore: ‘Even more contagious’ – ‘dramatically more contagious’,” he told TV station Welt. “The infectivity says nothing about how big the disease burden will be,” he said. The value, on the other hand, helps to estimate how many people could quickly become infected with the corona variant.

Corona variant Omikron – booster vaccination decides on the course of Covid 19

“But we are now seeing that the hospitalization rate or admission to hospitals, even in countries that have four or five times the incidence in Germany, is horizontal and only rising slightly,” explained Stöhr, who has worked for the World Health Organization WHO worked in the interview. Stöhr caused a stir a few weeks ago: At that time he made a forecast as to when the corona pandemic could be over.

Klaus Stöhr


Virologist Klaus Stöhr with Markus Lanz. (archive photo)

Corona variant Omicron: No infection with the same subtype

According to the virologist, one thing above all is clear: “Higher transmissibility does not mean a worse situation.” The decisive factor is the progress of the vaccination campaign and how many people in Germany have been boosted. “Everyone will have to get infected before we get endemic,” predicted Stöhr. Thanks to several vaccinations, however, the risk of a severe course of Covid 19 is very low.

Anyone who becomes infected with the omicron variant develops antibodies as a result. This also applies to “BA.2”: After a corona infection, you cannot get infected again with the same subtype, says Stöhr.


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