Monday, April 13, 2020

Researchers estimate coronavirus is circulating by September

A new technical report by Brazilian researchers estimates that the new coronavirus, which causes the disease called covid-19, is at risk of circulating in Brazil by September this year. The document is signed by researchers from the Ministry of Health, the University of Mato Grosso do Sul, the State University of Amazonas, the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation and the Tropical Medicine Foundation Doctor Heitor Vieira Dourado. The report was published on Tuesday (7), in the Journal of the Brazilian Society of Tropical Medicine. "Several mathematical models have shown that the virus will potentially be circulating by mid-September, with a major spike in cases in April and May," the authors write. "Thus, there are concerns about the availability of intensive care units (ICU) and mechanical ventilators needed for patients hospitalized with Covid-19, as well as the availability of specific diagnostic tests." The increase in cases of covid-19 in Brazil is expected despite social isolation measures taken by state governments to contain the advance of the virus, which shows that the scenario of contagion would be worse without a quarantine, as indicated by a study by Imperial College, London. The new study, signed among others by Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta, talks about the importance of quarantine. "If social distancing is effective by limiting public access only to essential services, the economic impact can be mitigated while the epidemic is controlled," according to the authors. The document cites a possible increase in cases of covid-19 during the winter, with lower temperatures and drier air in the coming months. The text also addresses the composition of the Brazilian population, formed mainly by young adults, among whom many have comorbidities such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, HIV, tuberculosis, among others. These factors put these people at greater risk than healthy ones if there is contagion of the covid-19. The technical report also discusses the use of masks to contain the spread of the new coronavirus. The authors state that the common habit in Asian countries of wearing masks can be decisive in the evolution of pandemics and should be considered in social sciences. Worldwide, more than a million people have been infected by the new virus, as well as some animals such as cats, lions and tigers. The number of human deaths in the world is already more than 70,000, according to data compiled by Johnson Hopkins University. The amount of people cured of covid-19, however, is already higher and is close to 300,000. There is still no clinically approved vaccine or treatment that is proven to be efficient and safe for covid-19, although advances have occurred with some drugs in the laboratory.
Exame - 07/04/2020 News Item translated automatically
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