– How the Corona came to Antarctica – it makes us confident
At one research center, many of those vaccinated became infected with covid – after prolonged isolation and four PCR trials. The eruption also has a positive side effect.
Corona has now become one of the most remote places in the world: an isolated research station in the Antarctic landscape. What is remarkable, however, is not the outbreak itself, but how the virus entered the eternal ice – and how people coped with it.
Princess Elizabeth of Antarctica (PEA), a Belgian research center, was infected. This is already unusual, as it is the first energy-autonomous station on the continent, generating electricity exclusively from sunlight and wind (more on this in the box). In December, the CO₂-neutral research site acquired the first electric caterpillar vehicle, but the unexpectedly unexpected Govt explosion made big headlines.
Unexpected as heavy security arrangements were made to prevent it from happening. Researchers and staff from Belgium, Great Britain, Ireland, the United States, Canada, France, Germany and Switzerland were subjected to ten days of isolation and a total of four trials. Many tests are required as there are different flights: PCR had to be tested before departure to the home country. The second was isolated on the fifth day in Cape Town, South Africa. Before the departure flight, another PCR was tested and another swap was taken at the research station on the fifth day.
In addition, all staff and researchers should be vaccinated at least twice; Joseph Seek, project manager and head of science and communications at the International Polar Foundation, which runs the station, says one person received the booster before leaving. The first team members arrived at the site on December 9, 2021, and the medical staff conducted a mandatory final checkup on December 14th. Everything was negative, everything was fine.
But a day later, the eruption started and the first positive test was recorded, Seek says. As a result, a total of 11 out of 30 people in the ward are affected, the project manager explains.
According to dozens of articles and reports from around the world, other numbers quickly spread in the media, with 16 of the 25 people vaccinated being said to be infected. “Some media outlets do not know why two – thirds of the staff or 16 people are affected by Govt disease.
In fact, according to the International Polar Foundation, the station currently has 22 staff and eight researchers. And Seek insists: “The eruption was not really dramatic for the locals.” Most of them have a sore throat, sometimes with a mild fever, a slight fatigue or, rarely, a headache. The victims were isolated and, according to the project manager, everyone on the ward was quiet and professional, with all the people having many years of experience in extreme situations.
After consistently mild studies, people recovered quickly and the tests were quickly negative, as Seek says. Of the eleven rescued, 8 are still serving in the ward. After receiving asymptomatic and negative test results, the trio went home on a flight scheduled just before Christmas.
The other staff at the station were not infected and the explosion now appears to be over. Seek says none of the locals want to go on the next flight on January 12th. Of the new employees and researchers who came later, none of them wanted to cancel their stay at PEA. Working and research time at Princess Elizabeth Station is invaluable.
It has not yet been proven exactly how Corona arrived at the station, and it is now being investigated, Siek says. On the way from Cape Town to Antarctica the chances of infection are high. Even if the flight crew is inspected, relocation is possible during the transfer or at the airport, although there is always an urgent need for a mask.
There can be no denying that there was an infection in the hotel isolation shortly before the flight departed, especially with Omikron. The new variant spread at a rapid pace when Antarctic personnel were isolated in South Africa in early December. This wave, which was massive at the time, may have helped spread the virus to an employee or scientist.
Omigron infections were also detected in an isolated hotel in Hong Kong, which was one of the first signs that the new variant might be more contagious than the Delta a few weeks ago. This is also evident in the Antarctic eruption, but on the other hand only eleven people tested positive at the station, so most were unharmed, although those at the research station lived together. And according to Cheek only one person was encouraged, while others received only two vaccine doses. This apparently provided adequate protection.
It is also hopeful that the explosion at the research station in Eternal Snow did not cause any problems for those who were vaccinated. Advances in the vaccine made only slight improvement; Based on the symptoms described, each seasonal runny nose is more annoying than the Govt diseases in the Antarctic Station.
However, this cannot be changed from one population to another because the staff and researchers in the Antarctic must pass certain clinical trials to work, so they are in good health. In addition, most people are of low-risk age group with Govt disease.
Andreas Free Has been an Online Site Manager on the Tamedia Editorial Board since 2017. Prior to that, he was the editor and journalist of “Zürcher Unterländer” and wrote about Zurich Airport and the region. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from ZHAW from 2008 to 2011.