The pandemic reaches three years with a scenario under control
Although still present, the disease does not present significant serious cases in the city
Photo: Alcir Aglio
Daniel Xavier – intern
After 95,322 confirmed cases and 1,756 registered deaths, according to the Municipal Health Secretariat (SMS), Petrópolis passes the milestone of three years since the covid-19 pandemic (declared on March 11, 2020 by the WHO) in a scenario epidemiologically considered endemic – that is, the disease is still present, however, without a significant number of infections and deaths.
According to José Henrique de Cunto, an infectious disease specialist active and recognized in the municipality, this positive and regularized scope of the virus is a clear result of the wide vaccination coverage. “It is an undeniable result. What many don’t understand is that the vaccine does not prevent covid, but rather boosts the immune system, producing antibodies that will protect you from the disease as soon as you come into contact. This is why, recently, most coronavirus infections have been asymptomatic,” he explains. Until last Tuesday (14), Petrópolis had the following vaccination status: 1st dose – 88.92% (271,252 citizens); 2nd dose – 86.23% (263,052); 3rd dose – 56.42% (172,115); and 4th dose – 28.11% (85,754). The information comes from SMS.
Despite this, the infectious disease specialist points out that, although under control, covid remains a serious public health problem. “Currently, the virus has become part of the spectrum of respiratory diseases, manifesting mainly as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). These, in turn, are lung inflammations that compromise respiratory function and lead to hospitalization. in most episodes, which can lead to fatal disease, but studies show that the disease has only presented itself in people who have not been vaccinated, for the most part”, he underlines.
De Cunto also assures that due to the health restrictions imposed at the most critical moment of the pandemic, the population has ended up absorbing prevention policies in their daily lives, which, according to him, is qualified as an “educational gain”. “Wear a mask when sick, use hand sanitizer after contact with someone or a shared object, and social distancing when infected. All attitudes previously foreign to people, which have now become a collective consciousness. No wonder that over the past two to three years, cases of respiratory or viral illnesses have decreased significantly,” he points out.
However, the infectiologist specifies that the so-called “pandemic fatigue”, which characterizes fatigue and lack of interest in the subject, had a negative effect on adherence to the booster vaccination, mainly. “We are exhausted. Being deprived of going out, partying, even living life to the fullest has exhausted everyone. And, after three years of living with the feeling of constant danger, in addition to being bombarded daily with alarming news about the virus, we understand that, faced with a more favorable epidemiological scenario, people are acting in a more relaxed and carefree,” he says. . “However, I emphasize that vaccination is essential to maintain this scenario, and, by the way, the side effects of the vaccine are less than the manifestations of the diseases,” he adds.
With the various mutations undergone in the last three years, with a focus on the Ômicron variant, and the provocation of several waves of infection, the coronavirus remains stable and under control until now, thanks to updated vaccines able to protect against the main strains. Despite this, the future is uncertain, due to the possibility of development of new, more contagious and deadly strains.
Despite this, José Henrique de Cunto states that, most likely, the epidemiological scenario should continue more easily, as it currently stands. “In people immunized, either by vaccines or by previous infections, the coronavirus has encountered obstacles in its spread. With this, it adapted in the form of variants with greater transmissibility. However, not with higher mortality. So what we can deduce is that this configuration must remain. However, despite the constant updates of apps and studies, we don’t know what the future holds. Or even if there will be an ultimate end. Eventually, we will live with the virus as we do now, with annual recurring vaccination campaigns,” he infers.