Omicron may indicate the end of the pandemic, explains infectologist

With an optimistic but cautious look, an infectious disease specialist reinforces that Ômicron can indicate the end of the pandemic with a requirement

Two years after the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, there are still many doubts about when it will come to an end. Since it was detected in South Africa, in November last year, the increase in Ômicron cases has left countries on alert and generated many doubts about the future.

The variant was classified as of concern by the WHO (World Health Organization) and is the most contagious of the virus since the emergence of the then “new coronavirus”. However, data today indicate that it can be considered less lethal, as suggested by infectious disease specialist Dr. Martoni Moura e Silva.

With mild symptoms, the virus can leave circulation, however, care needs to be maintained.  Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto/NDWith mild symptoms, the virus can leave circulation, however, care needs to be maintained. Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto/ND

With an optimistic but cautious look, the specialist reinforces that Ômicron can indicate the end of the pandemic in the face of an extremely important requirement: that health measures continue to be taken.

Avoid agglomerations, continue with the use of mask, among other actions already known to the population.

In addition, following the vaccination cycle is extremely important. “If the population continues to take care of itself, with vaccine immunity, in 30 days, we will have a drop in the number of cases”, adds Moura.

With mild symptoms, the virus can go out of circulation, however, care needs to be maintained, as “a new variant may emerge and so we will return to square one”, reinforces the infectologist.

Pandemic is far from becoming endemic

Endemic is a local disease, when there is no significant increase in the number of cases. The expert says that we will only be living this way when the numbers of cases begin to decline steadily.

“It is still far from happening, as the peak in the largest number of Ômicron cases has yet to be reached, in order for the fall to come. Until it stabilizes, about three months ahead”, he adds.

Variant behavior

The specialist also shows how the behavior of the variants is compared to the Ômicron. The first, which started the pandemic, was considered wild, as it still had no competence in the treatment.

Next came the more aggressive and lethal Gamma variant, followed by Delta, with greater dissemination power, but at a time when the population was already vaccinated, so it behaved less aggressively.

On the other hand, Ômicron has a viral peak from the third to the sixth day. “If Ômicron had appeared at the beginning of the pandemic, we would not have suffered so much”, reinforces Dr. Martoni Moura e Silva.

Therefore, the infectologist rules out the possibility of a new lockdown, but emphasizes that the moment is for “more attention to preventive measures”.

The main reason for the accelerated increase in the last week was because of the relaxation of Covid prevention measures.

Both H3N2 and Ômicron are transmitted through the airways, so the importance of wearing masks and avoiding places more prone to infection, such as concerts and closed restaurants with crowds.

“We cannot beat the disease by force, we need to have robust scientific data, so as not to put the population at risk”, adds Dr. Moura e Silva.

In addition, he emphasizes the need for booster doses of the vaccine: “The Ômicron is lighter, but we still need to be up to date with the defense”, he adds.

The specialist also noticed in his patients that Ômicron does not attack the lungs, unlike how the other variants manifested themselves, generating a high number of ICU admissions and deaths.

Isolation and care

As soon as you feel the symptoms, the infectologist warns about the importance of looking for a doctor, either through telemedicine or going to an in-person consultation. It is also important to carry out quality tests, in which the presence of the virus will be detected or not.

The infectologist defends isolation even in asymptomatic cases, however, he disagrees with what was proposed by the Ministry of Health to determine only 5 days, since the peak of Ômicron varies between the third and the sixth day.

Therefore, it is necessary to have an exam of excellent quality in order not to certify a patient free from the transmission period with a false negative test.

“I do not recommend following this guidance from the Ministry of Health. No scientific society in Brazil has recommended this”, he adds.

The specialist also recommends the isolation of seven days in patients who are asymptomatic for 24 hours or with satisfactory improvement, being able to leave on the eighth day.

In more serious cases, isolation is 20 days and, in patients who have symptoms that last until the seventh day, isolation for 10 days must be followed.

Therefore, the chance of overcoming the pandemic caused by the coronavirus is real. But for that, it is necessary to get vaccinated, adopt habits to leave the immune system in the highest degree of defense, and reinforce all sanitary measures to fight the disease.

Interview for ND+

The infectologist participated in the portal’s social media lives project, “Conversas ND+”, and answered the main doubts about the prediction of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2022, about the Ômicron variant, in addition to the care that still must be taken and how to differentiate flu from covid.

Check it out below:

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About Jenni Smith

She's our PC girl, so anything is up to her. She is also responsible for the videos of Play Crazy Game, as well as giving a leg in the news.

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