“CORONAVIRUS could disappear just like SARS in 2003”

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Severe acute respiratory syndrome is another coronavirus that arose in China and causes pneumonia. After a year it stopped spreading massively

The coronavirus are an extensive family of virus they can cause disease in both animals and humans. Its name comes from the Latin corona, due to the shape of the virus’s structure, similar to the corona of the Sun.

In humans, several coronavirus They cause respiratory infections that can range from the common cold to more serious illnesses, such as Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

The most recently discovered coronavirus causes the disease by COVID-19 and it has already affected more than 135,000 people in 121 countries and killed more than 5,000.

These figures forced the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare this disease a pandemic. The last time the world health agency had done this was a decade ago with the influenza A or H1N1 virus, which affected about 400,000 people and killed about 18,300. On August 10, 2010, the WHO announced the end of the pandemic, 14 months later.

This pandemic had low mortality, in contrast to its wide distribution (11% -21% of the infected world population).

Now there is a new pandemic produced by a new virus, originated in China and whose size and scope is not yet known, almost 3 months after its appearance in a live animal market in Wuhan, Hubei province.

“What is important to keep in mind is that when a disease is declared pandemic, it means that it passes through different continents. It started in China and then we saw that it spread to Europe, especially Italy, South Korea, Iran and also reached American continent, “Dr. Daniel Stamboulian, professor emeritus of Infectology at the UCES School of Medicine and Voluntary Professor of Medicine of the University of Miami, explained to Infobae.

And he added: “The coronavirus it is a habitually benign respiratory virus that is seen in animals and humans but at some point it becomes a rather troublesome virus as it did with SARS in 2003. “

Regarding the first epidemic of the 21st century, Stamboulian recalled its context and how he observed, studied and analyzed it, as a new global threat, also emerging in China.

“I will never forget in 2003 with SARS we were worried about what was happening in some countries in Europe and suddenly a significant number of cases appeared in America, especially in Canada. And there we learned what things are important to decrease the possibility of transmission coronavirus. For example, Canadians placed a lot of importance on handwashing. They did an investigation of the percentage of people in Toronto, for example, who washed their hands, “he said.

“After the work they did, they found that 90% washed their hands. But at Kennedy (airport) (in the US), they did a study and only 25% washed their hands. It means that It is not a practice habitual washing hands“he recalled.

“But against the coronavirus the most important thing at the moment is not the chinstrap. It is the frequent washing of hands. Because the virus it is not aerial, it is a surface virus. That is why we have to wash our hands a lot, “said the expert.

Other viruses: stationary flu

“There are diseases like fluwhich really does the same thing that the coronavirus. There is a lot of concern about the flu in older adults, so much so that the flu vaccine has as a priority to vaccinate older adults. We started that campaign in the 90s and we vaccinated 7 million people in a decade. And we saw that those who were vaccinated prevented the flu, “said the specialist.

Last year in the northern hemisphere, 80,000 people died in the US from the flu. So the flu, like this virus, has a predilection for older adults. It is not a virus that affects boys. For example, with the coronavirus it is seen that below 15 years of age it is exceptional.

In this context, what was seen is that the coronavirus It was closely associated with the flu, influenza and pneumonia. Therefore, the intensification of the influenza vaccine is a very important tool to work in reducing the possibility of coronavirus and also the pneumococcal vaccine that is given with great emphasis in patients over 65 years of age.

Regarding a possible vaccine against coronavirusThe doctor said that there are more than 8 very important companies that are working to produce the vaccine. According to the level of the studies, you cannot have a good, effective vaccine in less than a year. It means that the vaccine is going to be a preventive tool but for later.

The other question is whether there is a treatment for coronavirus.

“When we have patients with symptoms, we know that 80% do it in a benign way. That they mostly self-limit without major problems. But there are 10, 15% do it in a severe way. But in patients who do a severe form, it started to use hydroxyquinolone in 500 milligrams, which is a medication that is used in rheumatology, because this is an inflammatory disease, to use it as an anti-inflammatory. But we also started using a medication that is not in the country, which is against hepatitis But the one in the country, the caletra, which is against HIV, does seem to have some advantages for patients with severe infection, “he said.

How is the contagion

What was seen in China and what is seen now in Italy, is to avoid contact of one person with another, because there is a period of the disease in which one is asymptomatic but contagious. So, you have to give importance to where the person comes from, that’s why the US banned travel to Europe, for example, in Italy there are more than 15,000 cases, with more than 1,000 deaths or in Spain, where there are more than 4,500 cases.

Regarding the growth of the pandemic, Stamboulian said that “there is something positive. And it is that in China it is decreasing. This decrease that is observed in China leads me to be a little excited about what happened with SARS. SARS, after a year, it just went away. These viruses mutate to be aggressive, but they also mutate to be benign. I hope it won’t take long to have a non-aggressive coronavirus. “

On the other hand, he explained that it is not very clear if winter is very prone to coronavirus or not. “Unlike the flu, we do not know that well. I am not so afraid that winter is the cause of a significant increase in the number of cases. I think we have to keep watching, because this virus circulates both in winter and in summer. It would seem to be, from what we are seeing in China, with the increase in temperature, it seems to be decreasing. But I think it is decreasing more because of all the containment work that they have done and that at this moment, to me excited to see that in China it’s declining. “

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