Coronavirus remains a potential threat. Although the situation is different from a few years ago, the virus is still mutating, and the emergence of new strains has once again aroused the vigilance of experts. That’s why they insist on vaccinations and boosters to maintain immunity and thus avoid the risk of hospitalization. In addition, as physical distance and quarantine of any kind have not been effective, other respiratory viruses are circulating and require vaccination.
“St Louis does have a very low rate of COVID-19, but we don’t have to ignore ourselves because a low number of detected cases doesn’t mean the virus isn’t there, it continues to spread, but we have a large portion of the population vaccinated which makes symptoms worse. It’s so mild that people don’t even realize they have these symptoms, or it’s just mild congestion, so they don’t go to the doctor, so we don’t do lab tests, we don’t have real numbers,” said the Ministry of Health’s Epidemiology Project Director Rodrigo Verdugo explained.
“It’s all these new strains that are primarily omicron offspring that are highly transmissible, but the cases are less severe, so we don’t have an impact on hospitalization,” he acknowledged.
According to Verdugo, according to official statistics, the number of coronavirus cases in the province does not exceed ten per week.
“This perception of low risk also means that fewer and fewer people are getting vaccinated, and that’s the problem because there are very few cases now, precisely because we have a large part of the population vaccinated, but over time, Vaccines are becoming less effective. Now “boosters should be given annually for those who are not at risk and must be given every six months for those who are at risk. The interval before was four months,” he said.
The official acknowledged that they had been hospitalized with COVID-19, but most were doing well. They are older adults with other health risks.
He warned: “We have had a very low death toll this year. We have to take into account that although influenza has more hospitalizations than coronavirus, coronavirus is still a dangerous disease. Influenza can also cause fatal cases.”
Verdugo said the Ministry of Health monitors three epidemiological corridors: bronchiolitis, influenza and pneumonia.
“Bronchiolitis affects children under the age of two. At the moment we are in an outbreak with a case curve that has dropped below the alert zone, we are in a safe zone, that is, the number of cases this year” The curve has moved forward, but our number of infections And no more than other years. Right now we are doing well, the number of cases is in line with expectations,” he said.
With regard to influenza, he said the current situation is an outbreak where the disease is spreading in large numbers in the population. “We saw an increase in hospitalizations due to flu,” he added.
The head of the epidemiology project reminded that according to statistics, there was a second outbreak between August and September, which is why he invited the community to vaccinate.
“Regarding pneumonia, we were in the alert zone a few weeks ago, but now we are also in the safe zone,” he said.
Unusual temperatures at this time of year are a factor that greatly affects the reduction in the number of respiratory virus cases.
“One of the main transmission factors is overcrowding, and we always close all our facilities when it’s cold. Now that the better days are coming, we’re ventilating the rooms, and that’s helping reduce cases,” making a difference.
The flu vaccine to protect against some of these diseases is available to children between 6 months and 2 years of age, everyone over 65 years of age, pregnant women, healthcare workers, and people between 2 and 65 years of age. risk factors. In the latter case, vaccination must be medically indicated.
Verdugo clarified that all health centers in the province provide immunization services throughout the year.