Tuesday 6 December 2022

Increase in the covid-19 rate of contagion before Christmas worries specialists

Value is 0.98, where 100 people infect 98, but cases begin to rise; omicron transmissibility worries analysts

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3 December 2022 - At The Banks - BCCR

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QCOSTARICA – The Universidad Hispanoamericana advanced this Thursday its report ‘A pandemic in perspective’, which is normally known on Fridays. The results are not exactly a pleasant gift and seem to suggest that the “pre-Christmas truce” for covid-19 is over.

The contagion rate, since the report last Friday, rose from 0.79 and today stands at 0.98, which indicates that 100 people with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes covid-19, would infect 98 others.

Getting a booster (third dose) at the right time is part of the measures to counteract the impact of the pandemic

At first glance, this is good news, given that the levels have been low for the past 12 weeks, implying that the rate of transmission is smaller being below 1, for it if it is above 1, it would give rise to a larger group of infected.

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However, 0.98 is very close to 1, and analysts, led by epidemiologist Dr. Ronald Evans, do not predict that it will decrease: “it seems that we have hit bottom or ground and now we have to go up. The dream is fading and those three consecutive months in which every week we saw the number of covid-19 cases decrease, are being left behind,” says the report authored by Evans.

As an example, Evans cites that since last week the cases had stopped falling. The daily average went from 51 to 52 cases a day, and although the difference is only one case, the projections do not seem to indicate that there will be a reversal in this upward trend.

One of the epidemiologist’s concerns is that the Christmas holidays are fertile ground for more infections, a situation now more vulnerable due to the presence of the omicron variant (4 cases have been confirmed so far in Costa Rica), considered more transmissible than the previous ones and that already counts four confirmed cases and six suspected cases, but could be many more.

In his report, Evans and his team indicate that as of January there could be an upturn in cases that is more difficult to control: “the authorities and the Costa Rican people must be alert to the seriousness of the situation. It is not about scaring people. International health organizations are already warning about this. For them, the risk is very high”.

In the middle of everything, there is good news: if omicron really is more transmissible but less serious than delta (and the previous variants), this could make a wave caused by this variant have many more cases, but that it is not so lethal as the previous wave and that its impact has a shorter duration.

However, analysts believe that the country must be shielded to avoid a hospital collapse. Again. No matter how mild the manifestations of the virus, there will always be a small percentage that must be hospitalized; If there are many people with symptoms at the same time, this can complicate the situation.

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For example, a disease that sends 5% of people to the hospital when there are 100 patients is not the same as one that sends 2% when there are 600 patients.

According to the analysis, the contagion is not the same throughout the country and each province has its own rhythm. The analysis warns that there are provinces that the contagion rate not only rose, but also have an index greater than 1.

Puntarenas leads with 1.08. Guanacaste and San José are also above 1, with 1.07 and 1.05, respectively.

Cartago is already below 1, with 0.98, while Limón and Alajuela each have 0.87. Heredia has the lowest index, with 0.78.

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"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of online magazines where everything is Q! In these times of new normal, stay at home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

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