Sanchez, Junqueras…what is the status of the new coronavirus infection?

Government President Pedro Sánchez and European Council Supreme Leader Oriol Junqueras both recently had to suspend their agendas because they had contracted the coronavirus Coronavirus. These are two examples of what surveillance reports also confirm: an increase in cases this summer. Experts at ABC Consulting believe this is a completely normal situation because SARS-CoV-2 It is not so much a seasonal virus as it is a social virus that usually rebounds on dates when citizens gather more frequently and move around the national territory.

According to the latest notification from the Acute Respiratory Infection Surveillance System, in week 35/2023 (from 28 August to 3 September), the Covid rate in primary care was 137.3 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, and since week 26/2023 There has been an increase (30 cases per 100,000 hours between June 26 and July 2). The highest incidence rate was found in children under 4 years of age (253.62 cases per 100,000 hours). The main variants in recent weeks have been XBB.1.5 (25%) and XBB.1.5-like+F456L (25%), and since the start of the 2022-23 season, BQ.1 (31.5%) and BA.5 (8.3% ).

The COVID-19 hospitalization rate remains low at 3 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, with an increase in change since week 26 of 2023 (0.52 cases per 100,000 hours). Among hospitalized patients, those over 79 years of age have the highest incidence rates. The main variants in recent weeks have been XBB.1.5 (29%), BA.2.75 (14%) and BQ.1 (29%).

For Estanislao Nistal, virologist and professor of microbiology at CEU San Pablo, the behavior of the virus on these dates was within normal limits: “Every time there is Travel and contact with many people increase spread. The same thing happens after the Christmas holidays. “

Marcos López Hoyos, President of the Spanish Society of Immunology, explained, Peak of infections in August It has now fallen to a base level slightly above pre-summer levels. «But this has no impact on hospitalization. As with other infections, August also saw deaths among more vulnerable people. There is nothing more serious than this,” he assured, adding: “People spend a day or two with COVID at home, or go to work wearing masks. “We have been vaccinated or acquired immunity through infection, and we are no longer virgins like we were in March 2020.” To avoid transmission, immunologists remind people with virus symptoms to wear masks and protect the environment.

In addition, to prevent severe disease, people who belong to high-risk groups identified in the Ministry of Health’s vaccination strategy are recommended to be vaccinated this autumn.

Who must be vaccinated?

In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends vaccination for everyone starting at 6 months of age. In Spain, however, the aim of Covid-19 vaccination is to increase the protection of the most vulnerable groups (minors over 60 years of age or with chronic diseases) and health and social care workers, in order to reduce morbidity and mortality from the SARS virus . CoV-2 and the impact of the disease on health and social care capabilities.

«Spain’s strategy is correct. Vulnerable people are at risk of decompensation if infected. The kids haven’t even discovered COVID yet, they’re still the same. And among other adults who haven’t had the disease, we’ve had multiple vaccinations over three years and have been infected. If you have been vaccinated and there are no underlying problems, you do not need to be vaccinated again. ” said the SEI President.

What vaccines are recommended this year?

In June 2023, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) issued a joint statement on updating the composition of new variants of Covid-19 vaccines.In it they recommend vaccinations for the next season 2023-2024 Unit prices for XBB subvariants against omicron strainspreferably XBB.1.5, which ensures protection against circulating strains of SARS-CoV-2, currently: EG.5 (Eris) and more recently BA.2.86 (Pirola).

«Newer versions of these vaccines are produced by Pfizer, Moderna and Novavax. The latter is not RNA but uses recombinant proteins through a system similar to that used for the hepatitis B virus vaccine,” explains Estanislao Nistal.

It’s unclear whether these new formulations will arrive in time for the start of the vaccination campaign. In this case, the SEI chairman believes alarm should not be raised and the Hipra vaccine could be an option. «The structure of this vaccine is different. It’s a recombinant protein that stimulates other parts and completes the immune response,” he explains.

Should we worry about new variants like Pirola?

Not at the beginning. Marcos López Hoyos recalled, “Viruses usually mutate into less aggressive forms because they want to stay among us. If he kills us, he loses his master. There are data indicating that Pirola’s Less aggressive.

Virologist Estanislao Nistar was also calm: “This is It is highly unlikely that we will encounter a problem of this magnitude again Just like March 2020, because we have been exposed to many versions of the virus, both vaccinated and infected, we will be better protected against possible variants. omicron made a genetic leap by changing 30 amino acids at a time, and what happened is not something that happens every day,” Nistal said.

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