Spain leads calls for COVID-19 to be treated like flu

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This scanning electron micrograph shows cells in which SARS-CoV-2 (yellow) (2019-nCoV, also known as the virus that causes COVID-19) was isolated from the patient and cultured in the laboratory (blue /). It shows that it is emerging from the surface of (pink). Credit: NIAID-RML

Spain leads the government to begin working on COVID-19, as well as other endemic respiratory viruses such as seasonal influenza, despite WHO opposition and warnings that the approach is premature. doing.

As governments and people around the world crave for the end of the pandemic, the debate about when the virus will be reclassified is intensifying.

“Spain wants to lead this debate because it is needed in a timely manner,” said Health Minister Carolina Darias, who is “new” to address the COVID with the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). He added that he requested “strategic research.”

Spain has one of the highest immunization rates in the world, with 90.5% of the population over the age of 12 fully vaccinated, and is in a good position to hold discussions.

However, this question has caused a disagreement between the government seeking some kind of normality and some of the medical community advocating continued vigilance.

The Spanish left-wing government was a prominent supporter of reclassifying COVID as an endemic with a milder seasonal outbreak that humans can live with, such as influenza.

Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said this week that he is working with science to eventually move from pandemic management to disease management that expects science to be reclassified as endemic. rice field.

Omicron caused a surge in infectious diseases, but many governments relaxed regulations, shortened quarantine times, and relaxed, resulting in lower deaths and lower hospitalization rates. Border control..

“As the COVID epidemic, legal requirements need to be replaced with advice and guidance,” UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Wednesday, saying that regulations have been lifted in the UK.

Claims the same as “you have to learn to live with COVID” Seasonal fluSajid Javid, UK Health Minister, said the government will have a long-term plan to live with the coronavirus within a few months.

“False hope”

But on Tuesday, World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Gebreyes claimed that the pandemic was “nowhere else” and warned that new variants were still “likely to emerge.”

The UN health agency also warned against the temptation to downplay the seriousness. Endemic..

“Endemic itself does not mean good. Endemic means it will be here forever,” said Michael Ryan, WHO Emergency Director, taking malaria as an example. He told the Davos Minutes Roundtable on Vaccine Fairness.

Fernando Garcia, an epidemiologist and spokesman for the Public Health Association, warned that talking about treating COVID-19 as endemic at this stage “creates false hope.”

Marco Cavaleri, Head of Vaccination Strategy at the European Medicines Agency (EMA), said:

There is no numerical threshold that distinguishes between epidemic and endemic diseases, Garcia told AFP.

“The epidemic is when there is an outbreak of a much more serious case than usual, which we have experienced since the beginning of 2020,” he said.

“And endemic may be seasonal, but it doesn’t put pressure on the health system.”

Nor is it a natural conclusion that the virus will evolve and become less harmful.

“Mild symptoms”

“The future severity is still largely unknown. There is no law that the virus must be mild over time,” Antoine Frahout, director of the Global Health Institute in Geneva, said on Twitter.

“It is very difficult to predict the evolution of pathogenicity.”

When COVID-19 became endemic, “most people infected Mild symptoms“, Garcia said.

“There will be a few people who will go to the hospital and suffer from complications that mean they will die,” he added.

“But one-quarter of intensive care units occupied by COVID-19 patients will not be seen in as much as 5%. Cases will probably be treated by primary care.”

In Spain, more than 23% of intensive care units are occupied by COVID patients, and more than 91,000 have died since the first pandemic in March 2020.

Of that number, 2,610 died between December 17th and January 18th.

Some medical professionals support the Spanish government’s approach.

“Stop visiting and testing healthy people with mild symptoms, stop tracking and testing their contacts. Stop self-quarantine and quarantine,” said about 19,000 family doctors. Inspired a recent article by SemFYC on behalf of the experts in the field.

“All these activities have become meaningless with the arrival of adaptive immunity (both by infection and vaccination) and Omicron,” he said.


Endemic COVID does not mean the end of danger: WHO


© 2022 AFP

Quote: Spain is treated like influenza (January 20, 2022) obtained from https: //medicalxpress.com/news/2022-01-spain-covid-flu.html on January 20, 2022. Leading the call for COVID-19

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