Last Monday (4) the UK’s National Health Service updated the country’s official list of COVID-19 symptoms with 9 new signs of the disease. Previously, the country officially included only 3 signs of infection with the Corona virus. The delay in expanding the index is a problem from a clinical and epidemiological point of view, according to the experts he consulted Mining condition.
Last week, official bodies in the United Kingdom recorded 4.9 million cases of coronavirus in the country, an increase of 600,000 cases over the previous week.
“What happened, in my opinion, is that as the variants arrived, the main signs and symptoms were added. Sore throats as an initial symptom were not as common in the other variants as it was in the micron, for example. In general, agency definitions are aimed at observing cases under epidemiological surveillance. ”, analyzes epidemiologist and master of infectious disease, José Giraldo Let Ribeiro.
For Ribeiro, changes to the official list of symptoms have few effects in terms of individual treatment, but help with epidemiological measures to combat the disease. This view was supported by a professor at the Institute of Social Medicine of the State University of Rio de Janeiro (IMS-UERJ), Gulnar Azevedo e Silva.
“As more information and more well-defined standards are developed, you expand the possibility of knowledge about the disease and its effects. It is very important that these standards are well publicized and applicable in all contexts in any country,” he assesses.
As for the doctor, the UK expanded the list with delay, and Brazil, which already has a more complete index, could have done a better job of publicizing these symptoms.
“It is very important to announce this to help with monitoring and identification by the people themselves. It indicates that disease management would be better if people knew their signs better.”
Change in medical treatment
Although he does not see any change in the specific treatment of COVID-19 due to the official listing of symptoms, Jose Giraldo Ribeiro believes that the epidemic may cause changes in the way doctors work, who will seek to discover the specific causes of symptoms. And not just treat them.
“Before the pandemic, clinicians were less searching for an etiological diagnosis. Than COVID-19 I think will be more common. This is positive because without an etiological diagnosis, their knowledge of epidemiology and its impact on health is not entirely clear,” he says.
The epidemiologist explains that respiratory viruses usually have very similar symptoms. Therefore, there was no effort to discover the causative agent of the disease until the arrival of the coronavirus, which established a new policy for strict testing.
Ribeiro stresses that for this change in medical treatment to occur, it is important to make the testing structure available in the SUS and also through health plans.
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