Saturday 21 May 2022

‘Inappropriate conduct’ in December influenced the increase in the contagion rate

A report from the Universidad Hispanoamericana indicates an increase of 5% in relation to last week; there are 18 cantons that worry about their transmission speed and number of cases, a week ago there were 10

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QCOSTARICA – “We are in an increase in the pandemic in Costa Rica, caused, among other things, by inappropriate citizen behavior during the month of December,” is now Ronald Evans, a doctor and epidemiologist who coordinates the Research Unit of the Hispano-American University, summarized the conclusions of his latest report on the contagion rate of Covid-19 in our country.

The crowds and gatherings in San José increased the rate of transmission of the virus, according to the analysis of the Universidad Hispanoamericana. Photo: Rafael Pacheco

“Many of us warned about it, but containment and prevention was extremely difficult in a month characterized by the festive Christmas atmosphere, gathering of family and friends and the breaking of some rules that had been followed in previous weeks,” said the researcher.

The contagion rate, also called the R rate, represents the speed with which this virus spreads in the country and indicates, on average, how many people each carrier of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes Covid-19, would infect.

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For this week the index stands at 1.12.

Two weeks age the R rate was 0.92 two weeks ago, moving up to 1.06 the following week.

If the contagion rate is equal to 1, each person will infect, on average, another, and this will keep the transmission constant. If it is at 2, on average each person will infect two more and the transmission speed will double.

Ideally, R should be less than 1, which is a sign that the rate of new cases is decreasing. If the index is higher than 1, the evolution of the disease will have greater speed.

A rate of 1.12 means that each virus carrier would infect 1.12, or, in other words, 100 people with the pathogen would transmit it to 112; two weeks ago it would be 92 infections.

This index is very volatile and can change in a short time, because it depends, among other things, on human behavior.

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The R rate does not have to do with the number of cases, but rather with the transmission speed or the speed with which the virus spreads. Nor does it measure how aggressive it is, but how its movement and evolution is in a certain place.

According to the report, this greater increase and the way in which it has behaved in the last three weeks calls for tightening the measures.

“Now we can only insist on the return to the application of mitigation measures, which although repetitive, tiring, annoying and harmful to the country’s economy, is the only thing we currently have to alleviate the increase in the pandemic,” quotes the report.


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