Reinfection with COVID-19? Manaus, Brazil highlights the dangers of a new variant | Instant News

Variant P.1, which was first discovered in Brazil, raising global concern about the possibility of reinfection while highlighting the importance of limiting further opportunities to corona virus to mutate.

The field coordinator for Doctors Without Borders, Fabio Biolchini, said “everyone should focus on Brazil now,” and in particular, on the city of Manaus, where he has been since mid-January.

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“People here think they are immune and the worst is over,” he told Global News.

“There is absolutely no reason to think that this cannot happen anywhere in the world.”

A report was first published on American Association for the Advancement of Science on December 8, 2020 showed that as much as 76 percent of Manaus, Brazil’s population had been infected with the coronavirus in October 2020.

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“There is a collective thought that everyone is immune. And it proved wrong very badly. “

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Biolchini said there had been no conclusive studies yet but “what we are seeing here at the field level clearly shows many cases of reinfection.”

Ali Mokdad, chief population health strategy officer with the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, agrees.

“We didn’t see cross-resistance from previous infections and therefore we are seeing a peak now in Brazil and spreading all over.”

Of the country’s 26 states and one federal district, Biolchini said 17 reported 100 percent of intensive care unit residents as of Wednesday. In Manaus, he said the ICU occupancy rate had fallen to 86 percent from more than 150 percent four weeks ago.

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“To say that it has improved is a little bit optimistic. In my opinion, this is no worse than before, “said Biolchini.

The ICU occupancy rate fell to 86 percent from more than 150 percent in Manaus, Brazil, according to field coordinator Doctors Without Borders.

Fabio Biolchini

Mokdad said the situation in Brazil is very worrying because it occurs when the southern hemisphere is experiencing summer.

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“The spikes that are happening right now, happen during their summer or towards the end of their summer, where you hope they have a better handle on the spread of the virus. And we don’t see it, “he said.

“That’s what makes it even more dangerous because they are going into winter and we know this virus is seasonal and will increase in winter.”

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The surge has proven to be a burden to overworked health care staff.

Biolchini said as the number of cases finally started to fall, the demand for mental health support from Doctors Without Borders had increased.

“It’s like a war zone. You have to adapt. You have to do whatever you can. You have to work with limited resources. “You’re doing the best you can, but it’s very, very stressful for all the medical personnel, everyone working in this condition,” he said.

“The worst nightmare for a medical doctor is having to select patients and allocate resources when there is not (enough for) everyone.”

One hospital usually has 20 beds, Biolchini explained, but had nearly 50 patients when he arrived in mid-January.

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“All of them are COVID, and a lot of them die all the time. And as soon as they died, another replaced the bed. “

Click to play the video 'Worries about the third wave and getting back to normal'

Worries about the third wave and back to normal

Worries about the third wave and back to normal

Mokdad says the lesson for everyone is to stay alert.

“What’s good for a lot of countries right now is a vaccine is available and we are rolling it out as fast as we can,” he told Global News.

“The problem we will face at one point in time even if the United States and Canada, all the rich countries, we have vaccinated a large part of the population, we are still not safe because this virus could circulate elsewhere, it could produce a new variant that will come back here and we started all over again. “

Starting March 4, three cases of variant P.1 confirmed in Canada, all in Ontario.

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The only way to avoid that situation, Mokdad said, is to wear a mask, practice physical distancing and get the vaccine “when the time comes, regardless of which vaccine you are given.”

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On Friday, Health Canada announced that it had done so approved the Johnson & Johnson / Janssen single dose vaccine. This vaccine is the fourth official injection obtained Health Canada the seal of approval – joined by Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca – could potentially allow more Canadians to be vaccinated in the coming months.

Even so, Mokdad believes the corona virus will remain with us after the pandemic ends.

“My assumption – and I hope not – is let’s prepare for this virus like a seasonal virus every year. And the only way to basically limit deaths is to stay ahead of the world when it comes to vaccines. Like the flu, we change vaccines every year. We may have to do this for COVID-19. “

– with files from Global News’ Rachael D’Amore and Crystal Goomansingh.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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