According to Bawek Grzysiewski, the epidemiological situation must be monitored, among other things, by testing and sequencing samples, and preserving masks. The specialist participated in the conference “The practice of vaccination in Poland and new challenges”, and his speech was devoted, among other things, to vaccinations against COVID-19.
Why do some people ignore COVID-19?
Dr. Grzesiowski, who discussed the specificity of SARS-CoV-2, noted that the virus can remain in the air even two hours after a patient leaves the room, which means it can also be transmitted without an active source. He also said that the pandemic has clearly shown that modern lifestyles – especially mass commuting and travel – contribute to global disease.
He pointed out that the acute course of COVID-19 affects different age groups, and that attempts to find genetic associations with the Corona virus and the acute course did not give clear, specific answers. The uneven distribution of severe infections helps the virus to avoid social rejection. The expert said that there are those who do not see heavy cases around them, and they begin to ignore and ridicule the threat.
If they suffer from COVID-19 en masse and children, teens and pregnant women die, no one will dare question the disease. He noted that since most elderly and sick people die, there are ideas that COVID-19 may not be the actual cause of death.
The long-running coronavirus is a new global problem
The virus is also special in terms of pathophysiology, he added. – I was looking for an analogy and didn’t find a really similar virus, which in this way, by interacting with a common receptor in many organs, is able to replicate very quickly and strongly activate many metabolic and immune pathways in our body – he added.
The specific mechanism of COVID-19 is that the virus’s attack through the respiratory epithelium occurs very quickly, Dr. Grzesiowski said, and begins replication within hours, preventing immune cells suspended in the blood and antibodies from rapidly inactivating the virus.
He explained that the excessive inflammatory reaction causes thrombosis, organ ischemia, and the long-term effects of the so-called long-Covid. “Long Covid” – problems that persisted long after infection, are now – as the expert said – a new global health problem.
There are also reports of self-harm caused by the coronavirus. There are already several large studies showing an increased risk of developing diabetes mellitus, nonspecific skeletal infections and other autoimmune diseases – said Dr. Grzysiewski.
– In addition, we have a very flexible genome of the virus, which makes it able to accept a lot of changes, and it is still infectious – he pointed out. He noted that each subsequent version of SARS-CoV-2 outperforms the previous infection. He stressed that you should be aware that the virus changes all the time and that its biology is somewhat unpredictable.
From a viral point of view, the epidemic is not over yet
The specialist emphasized that it is difficult to overestimate the effectiveness of vaccines in preventing the severe course of COVID-19. Dr. Grzesiowski reports that more than 11.5 billion doses of vaccines have been administered worldwide.
In Poland, unfortunately, vaccinations have stopped, and they have had a very good efficacy. He noted that the dynamics of vaccination in different age groups were very different, the weakest – unfortunately – in the younger age groups. Dr. Grzesiowski stated that there may be a variant in the future that will have a higher potential for infection and virulence than omicron.
From a viral point of view, the epidemic is by no means over. He pointed to the possibility of more cases of the disease among people who responded less to vaccination and those who lost their immunity against vaccination.
He noted that in the current situation, it is patients who are not immunized or who have a poor response that die most often. He emphasized that future generations of vaccines are essential – more resistant to new variants and providing longer immunity. – We need a global system for monitoring viruses, not at all collapsed laboratories, on the contrary – the development of virological diagnostics and, among other things, sequencing – he stressed.
Protective measures, including masks, must be maintained
He stated that the epidemic is continuing and there are no signs of its demise. – There are no conclusive reasons for further mitigating the course of the disease or obtaining the immunity of the population, quite the contrary. He noted that there are many injuries, many people get sick again, and often the second or third round is worse than the first.
He noted that the virus is constantly mutating, which calls for global monitoring. – The spread of the virus is causing mass diseases, so it is absolutely necessary to maintain non-pharmacological protection measures, including putting masks on air purification, not only ventilation, that is, dilution, but disinfection using methods that are safe for people. The test should be maintained at an adequate level and should be compensated – he said.
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