Covid and new variant, Pregliasco: “From Bill Gates right call”

“Human history is dotted with disasters and critical situations, caused by bacterial or viral infections. Many epidemics have always marked and determined it”, and they will continue to do so because “let’s not forget that viruses and bacteria play a role ecological, evolutionary and of natural selection. In this sense I believe that prepare for new, future emergencies the message on which to focus in the statements of Bill Gates to the ‘Financial Times’ is a proper reminder. Thus the virologist Fabrizio Pregliasco, professor at the State University of Milan, comments on the words of the billionaire and philanthropist at Adnkronos Salute, who in an interview warned about possibility that the Covid pandemic will be fueled by more ‘bad’ variants of Sars-CoV-2 and urged world leaders to gear up to cope with other health crises.

If the Microsoft founder calculates the 5% probability that the current pandemic may still have to reserve the worst for us, according to Pregliasco the estimate “is questionable”. But “I believe – reiterates the expert – that Gates’s is a fair reference to the importance of learning the lessons of these years”. Not only by planning effective and timely responses to the emergencies that will come, but also by “implementing all those coordination and information sharing activities that are and continue to be crucial against Covid. It is important to treasure the experiences acquired – recommends the medical director of Irccs Galeazzi in Milan – and understanding how interconnection and data exchange is fundamental to prepare us “for future surprises.

On the other hand, no surprise for the virologist from the alarm signals coming from South Africa where we are starting to talk about the fifth wave, and from New York which has raised the alert level from low to medium and evaluates a new crackdown on the front masks. “Fluctuating trends – explains Pregliasco – are predictable with a highly contagious virus like this Omicron variant, which has a transmissibility index R0 of 15, compared to Delta’s 7 and the original Sars-CoV-2’s 2.5 “. Thus” it is difficult to control this disease “by having a precise idea of ​​the true numbers . Because “in Italy, as in other countries – underlines the expert – the real cases could be double if not almost triple those known“.

In fact, “the many cases must be considered asymptomatic“that do not end up in the official counts,” asymptomatic or paucisymptomatic per se – specifies the doctor – or because they affect vaccinated people “who become infected without developing serious forms. By calculating this submerged quota,”it can be estimated that 40-50% of people have had SARS-CoV-2“. It must also be remembered that” this infection does not confer a protection for life “from the probability of recontracting it, and therefore” every human contact a certain more or less high risk continues to have it. But either we are with the Ffp2 mask, at a distance and disinfected forever – reflects the medical director of Irccs Galeazzi in Milan – or we learn to live with it as we did with other infections, also hoping for the contribution of drugs to be able to reduce the heavier effects of the pathology “.

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