Coronavirus: War (WHO), “It’s like the Spanish girl, she’ll be back in the fall”

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The Covid-19 epidemic “is behaving as we hypothesized” and “the comparison is with Spaniard who behaved exactly like Covid: it went down in the summer and fiercely resumed in September and October, making 50 million deaths during the second wave, which was worse than the first, “said Ranieri Guerra, deputy director of the World Health Organization (WHO) during the Agorà broadcast on Rai 3, responding on the letter from experts who spoke of the” emergency over “.

It seems finished but it is not so

Guerra continued without denying that the virus is currently “gone from the clinic”, but added that even though “it seems all is over, it is not so. I look at the facts and the facts say that the genome of the virus is still the same and that the trend of an epidemic like this is widely expected and foreseeable. There is a descent that coincides with summer. The precautions we are taking are aimed at limiting the circulation of the virus when it resumes, “he concluded.

Seasonal viruses

Airborne viruses such as coronaviruses and rhinoviruses (colds) are typically associated with the cold season because they reproduce in the nose and respiratory tract, which in winter are more vulnerable to infections. With the arrival of summer, the infections for this type of virus are waning, usually in the second quarter of the year.
The fact of being outdoors and not in closed and confined spaces also works in our favor: the arrival of summer in short can help us but it will not be the summer to stop the coronavirus.

Contagion even in summer

We see this in the US, which has recorded nearly 40,000 new coronavirus cases in the past 24 hours. According to Johns Hopkins University, there is a new daily record of 39,972 new infections, which brings the total budget to 2,422,299, including 124,410 deaths. Contagions therefore rise in States where temperatures reach 40 degrees and show that epidemics do not end on their own, but must be contained anyway.

Some studies

In the wake of this reasoning the editorial of the scientific journal The Lancet signed by the director Richard Horton: although different in terms of historical context and type of disease, the Spanish and AIDS pandemics offer an important lesson, to cope with a possible second wave of Covid-19, just one means of prevention is not enough, but it will be necessary to combine several measures. Horton recalling how, in the case of the Spaniard, the first wave came between March and July 1918 and that in August a second wave occurred, worse than the first. According to Tim Spector, an epidemiologist at King’s College London, the arrival of a second wave could be avoided if all new infections were identified within 48 hours. To do this, a public information campaign would be needed, followed by self-isolation at an earlier stage, in order to reduce the infection. For the University of Hong Kong, real-time tracking would be needed to check the contagion index, combined with early diagnosis and information campaigns. Data from the Seattle Institute for Health Assessment and Statistics are leaning towards a new wave between September and December and suggest that short two-week lockdowns, followed by reopenings between two and six weeks, may be sufficient to slow circulation of the virus.

Prepare well

To combat the Covid-19 pandemic, therefore, action must be taken on several fronts without excluding the most important, that of personal responsibility: washing hands, wearing masks, maintaining social distancing. The important thing is to take advantage of this period of partial respite so as not to arrive at the possible “real” second wave (the “seasonal” wave) unprepared and with too many positive people and difficult to monitor.

June 26, 2020 (change June 26, 2020 | 17:00)

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