WHO warns Covid-19 ‘continues to pose a threat’ and starts monitoring variant BA.2.86

The UN’s top health body insisted it highlighted “the need for vigilance in all countries”

Madrid, Spain, August 19, 2023. World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has warned that Covid-19 “continues to pose a threat to global health”, although “it is no longer a threat”. Although this is a global health emergency, it still poses a threat to global health. “

In his opening remarks at the G20 health ministers meeting in India, Tedros recalled the rise in cases in some countries, noting that the World Health Organization had classified it as BA.2.86, which contained a “substantial number of mutations”. , such as “Variants Under Watch”.

“This underscores once again the need for all countries to remain vigilant,” insisted the top head of the UN’s International Health Organization.

Regardless of the epidemiological news on Covid-19, Tedros noted that the pandemic has taught us “an important lesson: when health is at risk, everything is at risk”. Regardless, he celebrated “encouraging signs that the world is learning the hard lessons of the pandemic”.

For example, he praised negotiations on a pandemic agreement and amendments to the International Health Regulations as “moving forward at a rapid pace”. Both processes are critical to creating the legal and operational framework for an inclusive, coherent and equitable global health security architecture”, he assured.

At the same time, WHO is leading or supporting several initiatives aimed at strengthening health emergency preparedness and response, including the Epidemic Fund, the WHO Epidemiology and Epidemic Intelligence Centre, the BioHub system, the Global Health Emergency Team and the Health for All screening. and ready.

Drawing on lessons learned from pandemics, WHO has also developed a concept note for interim mechanisms to coordinate “timely and equitable” access to medical responses to epidemics and pandemic threats.

Exposure to cold-causing coronavirus may help boost immunity, study finds

Exposure to the coronavirus that causes the common cold may help pre-existing immunity against Covid-19, according to a new study from Rutgers University (NJ, USA).

The study, published in the Journal of Clinical Virology, examined the immune responses of two populations from Lagos, Nigeria: health workers at a university hospital and the general public living in five districts.

“In 83% of people in our study who were exposed to common cold coronaviruses, we found that their T cells cross-reacted with SARS-CoV-2, suggesting protective immunity in people exposed to these genetically related coronaviruses. Bobby Brooke Herrera, assistant professor of global health at the Rutgers Global Health Institute and lead author of the study, said:

The researchers’ findings provide insight into factors that may affect preparedness and response to global infectious disease outbreaks, including vaccine development.

Topics discussed in the study included: the association between immunity and the paradox of high rates of SARS-CoV-2 infection and low mortality in Africa; the high prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 seropositivity among health workers and communities in Lagos, Indicating that infection rates may be higher than reported.

They also discuss laboratory techniques for examining immune signatures of existing coronaviruses, such as targeting only the more conserved SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein compared to antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid and spike proteins antibodies.

Text: European Press

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