This week, the numbers of the coronavirus pandemic in Spain they have suffered some fluctuations. Just yesterday it was known that the excess of deaths since the start of the health alert, on March 9, was 43,000 people, which is 12,000 more than the number of deaths from the virus itself that was being handled (about 30,000). And together, it's almost 50% more deaths than had occurred in the same period last year.
For what is this? According Raquel Yotti, director of the Carlos III Health InstituteIn the Mortality Monitoring System (MoMo), not only have the deaths of infected people been recorded, but also those who have died from any cause. "Indirect and advanced mortality occurs in pandemics," says Yotti. These are the deaths that occur, for example, due to the overload of the health system or the reluctance of people to go to health services.
Beyond the dance of figures, how many cases of coronavirus have there really been in Spain? That's what trying to figure out the seroprevalence study that is being carried out by the Ministry of Health and directed by Raquel Yotti. The ENE-Covid19 (as it is called) tries to track how many citizens have developed antibodies against the coronavirus. The study will be carried out on a total sample of 64,000 people and will have three waves. The first revealed that only 5% of the Spanish population has generated these antibodies. That is, they are already immune to the virus or have been in contact with it. The second wave started last week and we will know the results in about 15 days.
"If there is a regrowth in autumn we will be more prepared"
Raquel Yotti has been today's guest of 'A coffee with the experts', the weekly interview space organized by WomenNOW and MujerHoy. The expert epidemiologist has given some clues to understand the coronavirus pandemic that we are suffering.
Only 5% immunized?
Raquel Yotti believes that this low figure is not bad news, although we all expected it to be higher. "We should be proud because it means that the containment measures have paid off." The expert points out that the death toll has been very high, but if we had not put up barriers, the price in human lives would have been much higher. So he warns that "de-escalation has to be progressive to minimize contacts and the number of infected. "
Are there asymptomatic patients?
Yes, it is not a myth. Raquel Yotti assures that the seroprevalence study has revealed that 33% of patients with antibodies do not remember having symptoms. "Yes, you can pass the disease without realizing it," says the expert.
Why is the use of the mask necessary?
The virus is transmitted by air, through the drops we exhale. So respiratory and contact protection is necessary, because those virus-containing drops can fall on the surfaces that we then touch. "If we wear a mask, our chances of getting it are reduced," says Yotti. And let's be clear: the mask is so that we do not infect others, it is not a protection to avoid being infected.
Can there be sprouts?
Yes. Raquel Yotti points out that the risk of a rebound now exists. "So the de-escalation is heterogeneous, by stages and territories." And nobody wants a summer with coronavirus, so, be careful not to take precautions to reunite with yours. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) is optimistic and believes that there is less chance of an outbreak in the fall. Yotti explains that this optimism is due to the fact that some experts believe that, by then, the virus may have weakened. Furthermore, we now know much more about the disease and health systems have been strengthened. "If there is a regrowth we will be more prepared," says Yotti.
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