The third wave of COVID-19, caused by the omicron variable, is back filling hospitals of patients across the country. Although referred to as a milder type than others, doctors in the five Brazilian regions have been consulted by UOL It is reported that Omicron, like other strains, develop dangerous conditions and kill patients, especially those who have not been vaccinated.
“Severe cases had the same behavior as other strains. The change is more in terms of the tendency to be less severe, but it is likely to get worse,” says Ricardo Martins, MD, a pulmonologist at University Hospital Brasilia.
What can be seen is that people with the disease in hospital are almost always not immunized or partially vaccinated. People died with the new strain, it is not harmful.”
Ricardo Martins, pulmonologist
The omicron variant has caused an unprecedented wave of Covid-19 cases around the world, which were recorded only on Thursday (20) 3.7 million cases In just 24 hours.
In Brazil, it is also on the rise. hit the country mark 200 thousand cases known last Wednesday (19). With more cases, the number of people in hospital and deaths from covid-19 It is also growing rapidly – despite being in Much lower levels from previous waves.
After hearing the report, doctors say it’s actually becoming rarer, but the disease still causes serious problems. says Gerson Salvador, an infectious disease specialist at the University Hospital of São Paulo (University of São Paulo) and author of the blog. front line, in paper.
The biggest defense for Brazilians, Salvador says, is that the country has nearly 70% of the population that has had a full course of vaccine against COVID-19, according to the Media Consortium, through which UOL part.
According to the infection specialist, the picture of infected patients follows the behavior that the country sees: “More than others [internada] has not been vaccinated or is not receiving a booster dose; Most of them are elderly people with comorbidities who are not on a booster dose.”
He also states that in people with its most severe form, Covid-19 remains a disease with devastating clinical signs.
“They’re making those changes in the lung that we’ve seen in the other variants in the previous waves. There are people who say Omicron doesn’t affect the lung, but that’s nonsense. It’s true that most people have upper airway symptoms, but people with the severe forms have extensive pulmonary manifestations. scope,” he says.
Even in people who have been fully vaccinated, there is a chance of getting seriously ill because the disease is so widespread among the population there. It seems that Brazilian society has become accustomed to death. When people say it’s not dangerous, and that it only affects people and children with comorbidities, and the elderly, their lives seem less important.”
Gerson Salvador, infectious disease specialist
The doctor says there is always a risk of getting worse
“The chance of getting seriously ill is less, especially if you have been vaccinated with at least two doses,” says Larissa Macedo, an intensive care physician and coordinator of two intensive care units in Porto Velho.
But she warns, as before, that the virus remains unpredictable, and any patient can get worse.
It’s not a math question [de risco]. Covid can always develop into serious cases; But we see, in practice, with the large number of cases, that the rate of exacerbations is lower. When the disease gets worse, it is the same.”
Larissa Macedo, Intense
A similar view is given by infectious disease specialist and on-duty Silvia Leopoldina, who works in Manaus. “Yes, cases are mild to moderate, but there are many,” he said.
Too many cases at the same time
Emergency worker Gabriel Miranda, who is on the front line in Porto Alegre, reports that he has noticed an increase in cases arriving at hospitals. “In the past few weeks it has increased a lot, but overall it’s been much milder cases than before,” he says. “Now let’s figure out how much of the vaccine, and how much for the omicron, it’s tough. I definitely think there should probably be a component of both.”
For him, all professionals today feel that the vaccine provides great protection and is responsible for the spread of mild cases. Vaccination for sure [o principal motivo]Because in the most severe patients we see a stark difference between vaccinated and unvaccinated,” he says, reinforcing that severe cases have the same symptoms as other waves of Covid-19.
It usually ends up being the most dangerous [internados] For shortness of breath and respiratory failure. So you can’t see much difference in general symptoms and other variables].”
Gabriel Miranda, Emergency
Because of the increased spread of the virus and the large number of immunized people, he says what has become common is people arriving in search of care for other health problems, and being found to have covid-19 in hospital.
“This has happened more often, before it was less common. They are patients who are hospitalized with other health issues, but they also have mild covid and atypical symptoms. We test all patients we need to be hospitalized,” he explains.
Infectious disease doctor Oswaldo Cruz Hospital, in Recife, Bruno Ishigami, says that – given what he sees daily – he doesn’t like to see Omicron treated as a milder kind.
“We need to take a few things into consideration,” he asks, noting that sickness of a large number of people at the same time can overburden health systems, and thus reduce the capacity of health units to provide care.
“Let’s say deltas cause hospitalization in 15% of cases and microns in 5%. Since microns are more transmissible, when we go to the absolutes of people in hospital, there’s nothing mild,” he says.
What we do know is that in emergencies, patients arrive at a lower risk, but I attribute the milder number of cases to the vaccine; And only secondarily to an omicron property.”
Bruno Ishigami, infectious disease specialist
“We’re seeing this here too: a very high total number of cases, but a very low number of severe forms,” adds infectious scientist Fernando Maya, who works at Maceió.
“Vaccines sicken much less, and severe cases with omicron – which are rare – are almost exclusively for those who have not been vaccinated”
Fernando Maya, infectious disease specialist
“Music fanatic. Very humble explorer. Analyst. Travel fanatic. Extreme television teacher. Gamer.”