The weekly report of the EODY on the course of the coronavirus pandemic revealed, in addition to the increase in cases, an increasing trend of cases in children and adolescents, 6 to 18 years old. Experts are watching developments with concern, they do not rule out that we are at the beginning of a new outbreak and recommend that students wear masks in classes.
“It worries me a little, but I’m still not sure that we are at the beginning of a new outbreak,” comments iatropedia.gr, Professor of Pulmonology, Nikos Tzanakis, and explains that he is worried about the contagiousness, which – according to the analyzes of the University of Crete and of the responsible Laboratory – now approaching the unit!
“The indicators this week and the cases and the transmissibility are worrying and also the increases in sewage are worrying. We hope or wish that this is not the beginning of a change in the epidemiological environment. There is a stagnation, with a tendency to increase. We’ll see next week and the next ten days if this means the beginning of a problem or not. What I see, however, is that this tendency is marginal. We will see in the next period”, he says.
The indicators of: cases, positivity and admissions to hospitals showed an increase, while the “hard” indicators remain on a downward trend, as it is known that they are the last to be affected in a possible outbreak.
EODY recommendations after the weekly increase in coronavirus cases in children and adolescents
“ICU and death rates continue to fall. Deaths are below 16 per day, and the Units are still below 100 and specifically, the intubated are 82″, says Nikos Tzanakis and adds: “The contagiousness index is one breath from the unit, while the epidemiological load it seems to be stabilizing and plateauing, where it was declining.”
“Technical type” increase in schools?
The increase in cases by 7% in schools, as announced by EODY, however, does not particularly worry the professor, as it is possible – as he says – that it is more “technical” than real.
In any case, however, it is an expected development after the reopening of education, without masks.
“This increase is expected and small, I can say. And it may also be due to the fact that the children have entered a more normal, more formal mode and the parents may do more checks and report the cases that they did not report earlier. This may explain the 7% increase. In other words, they may be due to “technical reasons” that require more detection and reporting of cases in children at school. Therefore it is possible that it is not a real increase in the child population”, he says.
Increase in sewage in 9 out of 12 areas
Meanwhile, for the second week in a row, sewage epidemiology is ringing a “bell” in many areas of the country.
Specifically in the week of September 12 to 18, 2022, increasing trends were observed compared to the week of September 5 to 11, 2022, which had also seen an increase compared to the previous one, in many areas – mainly in the north of the country.
During the last week, however, the average weekly viral load of SARS-CoV-2 in municipal wastewater increased in nine of the 12 regions tested, while stabilizing trends were observed in three of the 12 regions.
“The changes in sewage in some areas are problematic, but also the increase in Crete. And also, there is a halt to the de-escalation, in several areas, according to the analyzes of the University of Crete”, says Professor Tzanakis.
An increase was detected in municipal wastewater in Agios Nikolaos (+371%), Chania (+321%), Heraklion (+302%), Ioannina (+184%), Patras (+105%) and Corfu (+ 81%), while a marginal increase in the average weekly viral load of urban sewage was detected in Volos (+29%), Alexandroupolis (+28%) and Xanthi (+23%).
“Vulnerable groups should receive a booster vaccine”
The approximately 40,000 to 50,000 people who suffer from serious health problems and have weak immune defenses should immediately hurry to get the new booster vaccine that has been administered for a week in our country to the elderly and special groups of the population.
Professor Tzanakis makes an appeal: “They should go now, as quickly as possible – at least the susceptible groups and those taking immunosuppressants for autoimmune – should go now and get the booster dose with the vaccines that cover the existing strains and not wait for the new ones updated, to come later. Because we don’t know if a very different strain emerges and we get confused. They shouldn’t risk waiting one or two months,” he says.
As the scientist explains, even if we are facing a new outbreak, if we shield our vulnerable we have nothing to fear.
“We have to pay special attention to these people. They are hematological patients, they are oncological patients, others take heavy drugs for suicide. We have to protect them very much. The world has not understood communicatively, that they should not wait for the other vaccines to come. It is absolutely necessary for susceptible groups to get the vaccine, even with this strain because it protects them”, he concludes.
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