The increase in Covid-19 cases in recent weeks has brought Brazil to the fourth wave of the disease in two years of pandemic. With coronavirus back in circulation, doctors have again recommended some precautions to prevent infection to prevent serious cases, deaths and sequelae from long Covid. It is important to remember that reinfection is possible, and even with the vaccine, anyone can transmit the virus.
In the assessment of infectious disease specialist Ana Helena Germoglio, the main changes between the current and previous wave are in the characteristics of the virus, which has become less lethal and more transmissible, and in the immune response of patients.
“Most people already have some immunity to coronavirus because of vaccines or because they have had an infectious disease before,” says the doctor.
The combination of complete vaccination – with the three doses of primary and booster course – and the correct use of the mask remains the great ally in the prevention of Covid-19, especially for immunocompromised patients, who are at greater risk. to suffer from coronavirus. infection.to have a decrease in the body’s natural defenses.
“We know that immunity begins to decline about four months after immunization. Therefore, it is ideal to take all available booster doses,” says Ana Helena.
Wearing a mask again can be especially difficult for those who have re-adapted to the world without it in recent months. However, articles are one of the main ways to defend yourself from infection. The most suitable models are the PFF2 / N95, which fits behind the head, and the surgical mask, but in the absence of better options, experts point out that any mask is better than none, and the fabric mask also offers a some protection.
According to the infectologist, when assessing the environment to decide whether or not to use the protective element, more important than observing whether it is open or closed is to assess the risk based on the number of people present.
“Being in an open environment, but with a lot of people around you, also creates a great risk of transmission,” he reflects.
In addition, Ana Helena recalls that the population should assess the individual risk of progressing to the severe form of Covid-19, taking into account risk factors such as age, comorbidities and not having completed the full vaccination cycle.
When you experience the first symptoms, such as cough, runny nose, fever, and sore throat, it is recommended that everyone be tested for antigen or PCR to prevent the spread of the virus. Self-tests, which are based on antigens, can be bought at pharmacies and made at home. The results come out in minutes.
In cases where the test is negative but the symptoms persist, the test should be repeated within 24 hours.
It is important to take the exam primarily to begin the isolation. Without the diagnosis, the patient continues to leave the home and can infect other people.
“Even with mild symptoms, the more infected people persist in circulating and transmitting the disease, the more this viral transmission cycle is perpetuated,” says the infectologist.
Social isolation for seven days after the onset of symptoms for mild to moderate cases, when there is no fever, remains indicated to prevent the viral transmission cycle. If the patient continues to test positive on the tenth day, he will have to wait another three days and repeat the test.
Ana Helena believes that in the future, when a large part of the population is fully vaccinated, isolation may no longer be necessary.
Here’s how to take the test at home:
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