Just a year ago, Mexico began a long-term confinement and adopted restrictive measures and sanitary measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Mexico City- Just a year ago, due to Covid-19, Mexico began long-term imprisonment, which brought uncertainty, risk, crisis, fatigue, despair, sacrifice and unparalleled efforts to survive.
After 12 months of health prevention measures, more than 2 million infections, nearly 200,000 deaths and immeasurable economic and social losses have been caused so far. The country is facing a second pandemic, which is not too close to the incidence of a pandemic. Big difference. .
Although aspects such as the number of new infections and deaths are not so high, and the application of vaccines (droppers) seem to suddenly indicate that the emergency response team is nearing completion, what role did the pandemic really play in the second year?
In an interview, infectologist and immunologist Juan Gea Banacloche emphasized: “Regarding everyone’s complacency that things will continue to improve, it’s important not to get into trouble.”
“I think the lessons we should learn a year later are a bit humble, because we don’t understand many things; we don’t have good answers to many of the most pressing questions.
We don’t have a very clear understanding of why the (infection) trend occurred and why it suddenly started to drop suddenly. Therefore, you must carefully review all content. “
Infectious disease experts at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona listed a series of challenges REFORMA needs to overcome in the second year of SARS-CoV-2.
Variant, a virus that can last
It seems that one of the most worrying issues, or perhaps undermining the optimism at the end of the emergency, is the emergence of a new virus variant that continues to mutate and increase its infectious ability to some extent It seems to have eliminated this possibility. The existence of a pandemic will never end.
How to avoid losing control of new variants?
Usually, the virus mutates as it replicates. Therefore, if we can minimize virus replication, which means minimize the spread and infection of the virus, that is the way to minimize mutation.
The answer to the long-term question is more complicated because no one knows what will happen, but I think very few people or scientists, epidemiologists or epidemiologists think that this virus will disappear.
I don’t know what the situation will be, but in the foreseeable future, it is very likely to exist. Just like ordinary respiratory viruses, there will be a respiratory virus (SARS-CoV-2) that can cause serious diseases. The intensive care unit (ICU) even died in an average of 2% of infected people.
What is the advice to the authorities? Do they have to maintain permanent surveillance by genetically sequencing the infection?
This is exactly the same as how we deal with flu. This seems to be more difficult than the actual challenge. On this issue, we must know in the future what the directionality of the virus is and how we can predict the strains that will spread in one hemisphere or the other in the next few months. We will learn it eventually, because we have been able to learn it in other situations.
The genetic sequence of the variant will have to be monitored. After collecting this information, the vaccine production company will respond quickly, always keeping what is available.
Vaccines, weapons we don’t have
Compared with the previous year, Gea Banacloche estimates that an important difference is that the huge advantages of effective vaccines have been demonstrated.
Experts believe: “The challenge will be to make most people at risk of being vaccinated with this disease. However, this is a weapon we don’t have; there is no room for pessimism.”
Part of the challenge of immunizing the population through this approach lies in the unknown, and there is still no clear answer, such as how long the immunization will last after application, or whether the current vaccine or will continue to be effective against new variants.
Even if it is necessary to use different vaccines based on circulating variants every few months or every year to receive new doses.
Gea Banaclohce said: “If that is the end, it is not a bad end. Because we have been used to dealing with the flu for many years. This is a reliable plan.”
For infectologists and immunologists, the appearance of these variants (some of which are more contagious) does not mean that this variant is
He insisted that vaccination is a challenge.
He said: “Remember, we now know that these vaccines, at least messenger RNA technology is effective.” “If necessary, we have the potential to produce vaccines specifically for new variants.”
He went on to say that the latter will partly depend on the efficacy of the vaccinated patients’ antibodies against the new variant. Some studies have begun to show different results. For example, some vaccines have a greater response to the British variant, but not to the South African variant.
Experts say: “This is not a problem that has to cause pain or fear, because there are many other problems besides antibodies.”
“The immune system is a very complex and very redundant system; there are many levels of the immune system in fighting infections. Therefore, even if the effectiveness of antibodies is low, it does not mean that the vaccine will be completely useless.”
In addition, it is obvious that the problem facing the global vaccination plan is the uneven distribution of vaccines and the shortage of vaccines.
The complex situation has led to the decision to use only one dose instead of two in multiple places to cover more people, and even evaluate the possibility of combining two different vaccines. There may be dangerous consequences that have not been studied.
“In fact, with different vaccines, we don’t know what will happen if one dose is one dose after another. In principle, due to different vaccines, causes, and in addition, vaccines may not have much immunology. Meaning. There will be more vaccines.
Gea Banacloche warned: “On the World Health Organization registration page, there are 69 vaccines that are approaching clinical trials. That is,’I can combine it with that one’, which will be very complicated.”
No shortcut or closet cure
In the first year of the pandemic, with the spread of infected patients in ICUs around the world, doctors had to formulate a variety of different care plans, using whatever they have on hand to treat this disease, which is very It is soon discovered that it is not just a respiratory disease condition.
Until today, different drugs and treatments are still being developed, or are in the emergency authorization stage (such as the monoclonal antibody used by Mayo Clinic to avoid high-risk patients and avoid serious diseases), but there is no specific and standardized method that has attracted attention. For example, Covid-19 did happen very quickly in the H1 N1 influenza pandemic.
“For the flu pandemic, we must first use influenza antiviral drugs; some antiviral drugs can effectively fight the flu.
On the other hand, we generally do not have effective antiviral drugs against the coronavirus,” explained infectious disease and immunologists.
He added: “It takes a lot of work to develop new antiviral drugs. For influenza, it took them a long time to develop oseltamivir, which has now become the standard Tamiflu for the treatment of influenza.”
In his own words, there is no shortcut to what has been learned from the current coronavirus. Just because certain formulas are considered effective for patient care, controlled studies cannot be abandoned.
“In general, optimism does not end well. You do need to collect data and conduct controlled studies. Unfortunately, this often shows that certain methods that seem very promising will not work. In the past year , The use of hydroxychloroquine has happened to us.” Gea Banacloche is an example.
“There is an idea that sounds like fulfillment rather than reality. Maybe we can cure Kovic in the closet with an old medicine that works for us. And, what we really understand is that there is no, there is you.” The research must be conducted under the best possible control; you must choose patient groups very well, and little progress has been made. “The expert added.
For the infectious disease specialists at the Mayo Clinic, the current process of medication and treatment for Covid-19 seems to be slow due to lack of understanding of the search for treatments for viral diseases.
He took HIV, AIDS or hepatitis as examples, and developed specific treatments after decades of research.
“Now we complain because at the end of the first year of the pandemic, we have only partial solutions.
“But I believe that medicine has worked well, and the lesson is that there are no shortcuts. We must do science because we know it is effective instead of thinking that we have a good intuition about medicines that are effective in medicine. . The laboratory is willing to provide it to people,” the infectologist and immunologist said in an interview.