THEL Has Covid become a cold? Many think this for two reasons: on the one hand, the Government has decided that the March 31 will end the state of emergency from Covid-19 (at this link all the text of the Council of Ministers) and therefore the restrictions will be further lowered. On the other hand, there are actually more and more people who, although positive to the test, report rather mild symptoms with fever that can be below 38 ° C, colds or gastro-intestinal disorders that resolve in about a week.
But things are not exactly like that. There the end of the state of emergency does not at all coincide with the end of the pandemicas explained on the Professor Roberto Burioni last night on Rai3 a What’s the weather like by Fabio Fazio.
Has Covid become a cold?
«Let’s answer this question with science and numbers. The Covid has become a very contagious disease since the Omicron variant appeared, which has led to a dramatic increase in case numbers in a large number of countries. Fortunately, however, in many countries this dizzying increase in cases was not followed by an increase in deaths. However, this did not happen everywhere, there are unfortunately some countries that have been a very serious exception. One of them is Hong Kongwhich had controlled the pandemic very well at the beginning, but then with the new year and the arrival of Omicron, they are cases began to rise significantly and unfortunately in this case even the dead have reached levels that we have never seen in Europe, even in the worst moments of the pandemic. TO Hong Kong Covid 19-Omicron lethality rate has reached 5%one in twenty people, ”explained Burioni, Full Professor of Microbiology and Virology, PhD in Microbiological Sciences and Specialist in Clinical Immunology and Allergology.
What happens in Hong Kong
But what exactly happened in Hong Kong? «The answer is unfortunately very simple: why in Hong Kong they vaccinated little and badly, they did not vaccinate the people most at risk. In fact, when the Omicron variant arrived in Hong Kong at the beginning of February, there was 20% unvaccinated in the 50 to 60 age group. Going up with age, and therefore going up with the risk, between 60 and 70 years, i unvaccinated they became 40% and this was a serious problemalso considering that a part of these people had been vaccinated with the Chinese Sinovac vaccine, whose effectiveness against Omicron is not yet known.. But the real catastrophe in Hong Kong happened in the over eightybecause the number of those over 80 who were not fully vaccinated was 66%. In this community of unvaccinated over 80s, the Omicron variant has given a lethality of 12%, almost one person in eight. Then to call a virus that, even in a particular group of patients, kills one in eight, is really a big stretch», Explains the virologist Roberto Burioni.
Covid in Italy now: the contagion situation
According to the data published on Healthcare panorama – Monthly information & analysis of welfare systems, which reports the weekly monitoring of the Higher Institute of Health-Ministry of Health, “In Italy continues to increase the incidencewith 725 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants, e the Rt index also rose, up to 0.94. On the other hand, the employment rate in intensive care fell from 5.5% to 4.8%, but that in medical areas remained stable at 12.9%. Four Regions / PPAAs are classified as High risk due to multiple resilience alerts.
Covid: the end of the state of emergency is not the end of the pandemic
“Covid, despite its Omicron variant which appears to be a little less pathogenic than the previous ones, remains a very contagious and very dangerous virus. The way we limit the damage this dangerous virus does is there vaccinationbut unfortunately this consciousness is fading, the vaccinations are not going well. In this past week, compared to the previous one, the new vaccinations have fallen again, still 22% less and unfortunately the third doses have also fallen, which have fallen by 7% ”, explains Burioni.
The only defense against severe Covid symptoms
“The danger posed by this virus and the importance of defense, which is the vaccine, are underestimated at the moment. And this is also reflected in the attitude towards Covid in children, even in this case there is a serious underestimation. In the United States the Covid has become the 10th leading cause of pediatric death and in our country, in the pandemic so far, in the range between 5 and 11 we have had 15 deaths, 71 in intensive care and 3100 hospitalized children “, the Professor continues.
Children must be vaccinated and better protected from Covid
“This is the most important data, because of these 3,100 more than a third were perfectly fine, they were children in perfect health who fell ill and ended up in hospital. This observation is incompatible with the data of the current coverage in this age group, which is only 37%, and this is an average. In some areas of Italy are below 20% and even in this case unfortunately, despite the large number of children still to be vaccinatedvaccinations are inexorably decreasing », Burioni warns.
Vaccines are dropping – a big mistake
“Unfortunately this virus is not a cold, it is dangerous and contagious, but luckily we have a very powerful, effective and safe weapon, a miracle of science called the vaccine.
What we need to do is vaccinate, those who have not taken the first dose must do it, those who have not taken the third must do it, especially we vaccinate children. It is true that we will have to live with a virus, but living with it does not mean living by pretending that it does not exist, it would be a very serious mistake “, recommends the virologist.
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