HomeCoronavirusCoronavirus: What are they and why do the second waves happen?

Coronavirus: What are they and why do the second waves happen?

Outbreak can be defined as the emergence of cases in places where the pandemic had been controlled. Sars CoV-2 is an unknown pathogen for which there is still no specific treatment or effective vaccine. Despite the existence of hundreds of scientific groups coordinating efforts across the planet, the final solution has yet to be developed. And that, although sometimes desperate, is normal. There are drugs that take decades to design and there are vaccines that, despite attempts, could never be manufactured. Just review what happens with other viruses well known to the region, such as dengue. “The contagiosity of the coronavirus is very high, so the appearance of a new case can quickly generate a conglomerate of cases. Recently we saw the reemergence of outbreaks in countries like China, Iran and Ukraine, nations that had lifted their restrictions. It is worrying because it generates a lot of uncertainty, ”says Guzzi.

The causes of sprouts are not the same. In China, the emergence of new infections led its authorities to impose restrictions again. The pathogen, according to official sources, would have been housed in boards and other utensils used to cut imported salmon. Although they assure that the focus was correctly turned off and that the peak of this new infection occurred a week ago, the alert state continues in the areas surrounding the wholesale market in Xinfadi (Beijing) with its 158 cases. But it is not only about the Asian giant: in Portugal 40 people were identified (the majority of a nursing home and other outbreaks produced by illegal parties) who tested positive; while in Germany, one of the most important meat factories had to close, reporting no fewer than 650 new infections. Iran is another emblematic example: after the worst part of the epidemic had passed, its government decided to start lifting the restrictions. However, in the last days they had an average of 100 daily deaths. According to the Health Minister, the main problem lay in unauthorized meetings. Today it is the tenth country with the most cases of coronavirus on the planet and has more than 9200 deaths.

The case of New Zealand, according to Mario Lozano - molecular virologist and former rector of the National University of Quilmes - is very illustrative. “It had practically eliminated the pathogen from the territory, in fact, together with Argentina it was the nation that soonest took measures of social distancing. It has a small population compared to others and, in its favor, it is an island, so its isolation from the outside becomes more controllable. Beyond all these favorable circumstances, it is having a reappearance, not very high in quantitative terms but it does worry the authorities a lot, "says Lozano. The immunity achieved by those societies that have been most infected and where the pandemic has hit the hardest is minimal. Serological studies carried out in different parts of the world show that community immunity does not exceed 7% at most. Therefore, "when we speak of the second wave we are not in the presence of a new virus circulating, but rather the same one that is infecting the vast majority of people who have not yet done so and that when the restrictions are relaxed begins to circulate" Lush.

Despite the uncertainty, it is also true that perhaps as never before in history the world scientific community has set out to try to understand a phenomenon like Sars CoV-2 and the respiratory disease it causes, covid-19. For the moment, there is no other choice but to try to learn from the experiences that other nations are accumulating, to examine all the maneuvers and response strategies that they develop, based on their own approach and adapted to the characteristics of Argentina. "What is learned from the re-emergence of the disease in China is that all measures must be taken cautiously, evaluating the risks and consequences of each one of them and that the system must be prepared to act quickly detecting early, testing and isolating the Suspicious cases and his contacts ”, highlights Guzzi.

“All the countries of the world made compulsory isolation and social distancing. When everything begins to relax because the spike is over, the risk is that relaxation will cause the controlled virus to spread quickly again. This is what essentially produces the second waves, both in China and in European countries. The false idea is generated that after the peak the matter is concluded and, in truth, it is very unlikely that everything will end until there is a vaccine, "explains Hojman.

The world situation is very fragile. In the same way that the Argentine government assures that the flexibilizations can be hardened in case the numbers grow, something similar happens with those nations that have overcome - apparently - the worst part of the pandemic. Reopening, until there is a vaccine, must coexist with partial and focused confinements according to well-demarcated geographic areas. A return to previous phases will be the norm: the decisions of the authorities in each territory are not static, far from it, on the contrary, they make up the “new normal”. A new reality to get used to.

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