Half of Europeans would have COVID in the next two months

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The latest on COVID-19

Dr Hans Kluge, World Health Organization (WHO) regional director for Europe, said that it is likely that in the next two months, half of Europe’s population will have been infected with the omicron variant that causes COVID-19. .

The region registered 7 million new infections in the first week of 2022. Health systems are collapsing again and some have taken measures similar to those established in the first months of the pandemic.

The new wave of infections has moved from west to east, affecting literally every country.

First recorded case of flurone

A California teenager, who is not vaccinated, has been diagnosed with what scientists call flurone, an infection resulting from a combination of the flu virus and COVID-19.

The case was detected at a COVID testing site in Los Angeles. The teenager had just returned from vacation with his family in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

Symptoms combine those of both conditions: fever, headache, body aches, and in some cases loss of smell. Doctors say that flurone can easily be mistaken for sinusitis.

Treatment is supportive, rest, hydration, over-the-counter medicines for fever and pain, until the body releases the virus. Although in people with previous conditions or compromised immune systems an antiviral can be used.

Experts recommend both the flu and COVID-19 vaccines to prevent infection, especially since the flu season is expected to last possibly into June. Those who have not been vaccinated against both viruses are more likely to get fluron.

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Reinforcement for children from 12 to 15

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has licensed Pfizer’s booster vaccine for children between the ages of 12 and 15. This approval extends to children between the ages of 5 and 11 who have certain diseases that affect their immune system.

The FDA also reduced the time between the first two and third booster doses to five months.

“Throughout the pandemic, as the virus that causes COVID-19 has continually evolved, the need for the FDA to adapt quickly has meant using the best available science to make informed decisions with the health and safety of the public in mind. American, “said the Dr. Janet Woodcock, Acting FDA Commissioner.

“With the current wave of the omicron variant, it is essential that we continue to take effective preventive measures that save lives, such as primary vaccination and boosters, the use of masks and social distancing to effectively combat COVID -19,” he added in the official FDA statement.

Shorter quarantines

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reduced the quarantine time for people who test positive for COVID-19 from 10 to five days.

The public health entity said that after isolation, the person must continue to wear a mask at all times, including in their own home, for five more days.

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This change targets people who do not have symptoms. The CDC recommends that those with symptoms stay home for as long as symptoms continue to develop.

Although the omicron variant appears to generate mild forms of COVID-19, hospitals and healthcare systems are already beginning to feel the strain of a resurgence of cases again.

Hospitals and vaccines

New York is seeing an increase in hospitalizations of children and adolescents due to COVID. In the city, children ages 5 to 11 need to show proof of at least one dose of the vaccine for certain indoor activities. On Christmas Eve there was a record number of cases, 49,708.

COVID and poverty

The World Bank estimates that some 97 million people globally have fallen into poverty since 2020 due to the pandemic. These people earn less than $ 2 a day.

Vaccines

Experts say that the fact that the omicron variant causes mild forms of COVID in vaccinated people actually shows the effectiveness of the vaccines.

“For two years, infections always preceded hospitalizations that preceded deaths, so you could see infections and know what was coming,” said Ashish K. Jha, dean of Brown University and a health expert at ABC’s “This Week”. “Omicron changes that. This is the change we have been waiting for in many ways. “

Johns Hopkins University created a near real-time case map that you can also view and follow here:

What are coronaviruses

Coronaviruses (CoVs) are a broad family of viruses that can cause a variety of conditions, from the common cold to more serious illnesses, such as the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and the respiratory syndrome coronavirus. severe acute (SARS-CoV). A new coronavirus is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been found before in humans.

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How do you get coronavirus?

Coronaviruses can be transmitted from animals to people (called zoonotic transmission). Studies have shown that SARS-CoV was transmitted from the civet to humans and that transmission of MERS-CoV from dromedary to humans has occurred. In addition, it is known that there are other coronaviruses circulating among animals, which have not yet infected humans.

Characteristic symptoms

These infections usually cause fever and respiratory symptoms (cough and dyspnea or shortness of breath). In the most severe cases, they can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure, and even death.

Also headache and loss of taste and smell.

How to prevent contagion

The usual recommendations to avoid spreading the infection are to wash your hands frequently and cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing (with your arm, not your hand). Masks should be used, especially indoors.

Close contact with anyone showing signs of a respiratory condition, such as coughing or sneezing, should also be avoided. Comply with the 6-foot (two-meter) social distancing and stay home if symptoms appear.

Sources: WHO, CDC, Johns Hopkins.

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