The delta variant can bring risks to patients of all ages and saturate the health system, notes a “warning note” from the Santa Catarina Health Surveillance Authority. The document follows the guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO).
A study published in the United States, by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, noted that the infection caused by Delta is likely to be more severe than previous variants, and that vaccinated individuals with this type may be able to transmit the virus as easily as those who have not been vaccinated.
Also, according to the researchers, the variant is 97% more transmissible than the original coronavirus, which was first identified in China, and can pose risks at all ages.
“Although there is no evidence that the delta variant has any type of propensity for certain age groups, the fact that it is a highly contagious variant can lead to an increase in infection, affecting all age groups,” the note says.
Compared with other variants, patients with delta infection also had approximately twice the risk of hospitalization, with an increased risk of comorbidities.
Cases not mentioned
As of August 10 of this year, 36 cases of the delta variant have been detected in 20 municipalities of Santa Catarina.
Of this total, four cases were considered autologous (in-state transmission), seven were imported (out-of-state transmission) and 25 were under investigation at the probable site of infection.
The variant, which was first detected in July 2020, according to the observation, showed a massive increase in its detection worldwide, with a predominance of nearly 90% of sequenced samples as of July 2021 in some countries.
Measures to be taken and recommendations
It is recommended to collect material to perform RT-qPCR in LACEN, for subsequent sequencing, for cases that fall into the following situations:
● suspected cases of reinfection;
● severe cases or deaths in patients without comorbidities;
● Pregnant deaths;
● suspected cases of vaccine failure (severe cases and deaths of individuals with a full vaccination schedule);
● cases and contacts who have traveled to places with a new variable circulation;
● sampling of cases related to the outbreak;
● strengthening inspection for effective compliance with current sanitary standards and avoiding potential agglomerations;
● Strengthening prevention and protection measures for the general population, such as the use of masks, physical distance and the use of disinfectant solutions (soapy water, alcohol gel) for hand washing;
● intensifying prevention and protection measures for the school community, maintaining the use of individual masks, physical distance and the use of disinfectant solutions (soapy water, alcohol gel) for washing hands, as well as striving to eliminate any symptoms that appear on individuals;
● Strengthening control procedures in connection with the monitoring and tracing of contacts, in order to cut off chains of transmission;
● intensification of care for the most vulnerable population, such as those staying in long-term care facilities (LTCI);
● timely notification and investigation of cases and outbreaks of COVID-19, as well as strengthening control measures regarding contact tracing and monitoring, as well as isolation of symptomatic individuals in order to interrupt and reduce transmission;
● effective communication with the population, ensuring an understanding of risks and prevention measures;
● preparing the assistance network for the possible exponential increase in cases of COVID-19 with the introduction and dominance of the delta strain in the Santa Catarina Territory, while maintaining the supported clinical and intensive care beds;
● Monitoring the stock of medicines and supplies used in intensive care units, in addition to oxygen.
● ensuring preventive and corrective maintenance of equipment, as well as maintaining waste management capacity;
● ensuring the availability of personal protective equipment for health professionals;
● Strengthening measures to control the outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus in the hospital environment (the importance of full vaccination of professionals);
● Update the emergency plan to combat the epidemic with an emphasis on non-pharmaceutical preventive measures, such as the correct use of personal protective equipment, hand hygiene using disinfectant solutions (soapy water, alcohol gel) and physical distance;
● Ensuring that health teams are trained to respond to the epidemic, as well as to prevent and control infections;
● Updating the documents on preventive measures, isolation (for patients, companions and health professionals) and the infection control plan (PCI);
● Removal of health professional symptoms, in the context of COVID-19;
● Perform SARS-CoV-2 testing for professionals, patients and/or caregivers with respiratory symptoms, regardless of the vaccination schedule;
● Organizing vaccination strategies so that groups are vaccinated quickly since vaccinations are received;
● developing active research strategies, in the event of a decrease in vaccination coverage in priority groups and in the general population in the age group listed at the time of vaccination;
● give priority at any time to vaccination of persons belonging to priority groups who did not receive the vaccine by chance, as well as from previously opened age groups;
● Strengthening risk and communication strategies so that the population does not postpone or seek to choose a vaccine plant, since all vaccines protect against severe forms of the disease, and only with the completion of the vaccine schedule will immunization have its effect and people will be protected;
● advise on the need to return to give the second dose (D2) within the period recommended by the plant, and if necessary, municipalities should actively research to complete the scheme;
● Achieving vaccination coverage levels of at least 75% of the population, with the goal of reducing COVID-19 transmission rates in the state;
● Recording information about vaccination within 48 hours in the Information System of the National Immunization Program (New SI-PNI – online), or in a system that deals with it, through the National Health Data Network (RNDS).
● Promote the importance of achieving a complete vaccination schedule with two doses in the correct range or with a single dose once the vaccine is available for the age group;
● Promote the importance of the use of masks, in public and private places, which should be for individual use, and encourage the use of high-quality masks, such as N95, PFF2 or the like;
● Respect the physical distance of at least 1.5 meters (one and a half meters) between people in all environments for collective use;
● Always keep environments well ventilated, including public transportation, and keep windows and doors open whenever possible to increase air circulation;
● intensify the cleaning of warehouses, bathrooms, circulation areas, utensils, surfaces, equipment, door handles, tables, handrails, switches, toilets, elevators, changing rooms and cupboards containing 70% alcohol, antiseptic or disinfectant preparations of similar effect;
● Intensifying and expanding publication and / or communication through visual and audio means in commercial and industrial establishments to the public, which reinforces the need and importance to avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth, in addition to regular sterilization of hands, especially in the following situations: To reach the facility after touching surfaces and after coughing and / or sneezing and/or blowing your nose, before and after using the toilet, before and after eating, as well as maintaining a distance to prevent the spread of the delta type. ;
● Avoid traveling and holding celebrations in the presence of people who do not live in your home;
● Do not participate or attend places where there may be crowded people.
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