Earlier this year, the Ômicron variant caused the fourth wave of Covid-19 in Espírito Santo, with the highest moving average of confirmed cases of the disease since the beginning of the pandemic. Now, the state is once again experiencing the growth of records of infections, this time resulting from the subvariants of Sars-Cov-2. The changes in the virus that make it even more contagious, associated with the unvaccinated group, may be behind a new phenomenon in this pandemic: cases of reinfection less than a month apart.
A study carried out in Denmark, as reported by O Globo, indicates that, with Ômicron and its subvariants, the reinfection can happen in just 20 days. The researchers reached this conclusion after analyzing more than 1.8 million infected during a period of high circulation of the strain in Europe, between November 2021 and February 2022. 30 years, unvaccinated.
Infectologist Lauro Ferreira Pinto says that reinfection in an interval of less than 30 days is not common, but there is an indication of vaccine leakage, considering that the immunizers currently approved for use were developed when the first strains of Sars-Cov- were still in circulation. two. Not to mention the people who did not complete the vaccination schedule or did not even take the first dose.
“The Ômicron has many subvariants. The ones that are circulating more now are the B4 and the B5. One of the characteristics is being able to be reinfected with the Ômicron. Less than a month is rare, but those who had it in January, February, can have it again . And it is vaccine escape, yes. Vaccines protect against serious cases, but not against a new infection. You will have a milder infection. Vaccination will continue to be the best way to prevent any serious case “, he emphasizes.
A professor at the Federal University of Espírito Santo (Ufes), epidemiologist Ethel Maciel recalls that, at the beginning of the pandemic, some became infected with Sars-Cov-2 without mutations, and then picked up a variant. This picture was repeated, always with a person contaminated first by a strain to then be reinfected by another variant, and at an ever faster pace, passing through Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta. Now, what happens is Omicron for its subtypes.
“Before, the interval was three, four months. It is much shorter now, about days, weeks. And this is due to mutations, it (the virus) is managing to escape much more. And this also brings a concern in this scenario of increase of transmission that we are experiencing now, in which Brazil is again in an emergency situation, and with a long Covid”, he points out.
Luiz Carlos Reblin, State Undersecretary for Health Surveillance, emphasizes that these episodes of reinfection serve, at least, to definitively overturn the thesis of those who defend that contracting Sars-Cov-2 provides the necessary protection, with the popularly called immunity from flock. “But the virus does not respect the previous immunity of the disease itself”, he notes.
The three experts maintain that it is the vaccine that will prevent the most serious cases, which can progress to death. “With wide vaccination coverage, we have a greater degree of protection”, concludes Reblin.
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