Has fever returned to normal at this level of covid? Understand – 10/10/02/2022

Brazil has calmed down the health measures it received at the beginning of the year and, as expected, after a surge of patients, the country is suffering a new high in cases of infection with the new coronavirus (Sars-CoV-2).

In a bulletin released this week, the WHO (World Health Organization) lists Brazil as the fourth country with the highest number of covid-19 cases in the world, from May 30 to June 5.

Compared to the previous epidemiological week, the increase was 36%. The country lagged behind the United States, China and Australia in the list of countries with the highest number of cases in the period, first, second and third place respectively.

The new wave is still the result of the Ômicron variant, which entered the country at the end of last year and, as elsewhere in the world, became dominant in a very short time, with an explosion of cases caused, in part, by its greater transmissibility.

However, scientists and health experts have already detected some sub-variants of omicron circulating in the area. With that, the question arose: Are the symptoms of the new wave different?

Is fever a common symptom again?

One of the hallmarks of Onomicron is that it causes a milder infection and usually does not usually cause a fever – just common symptoms of a cold, such as a runny nose, sore throat and headache.

Some, however, have reported that the fever, even at higher temperatures than before, has returned to constant in the cases that are emerging in this new wave of the disease.

But that’s not the case when we look at the general population. “Greater fever is not part of the clinical picture caused by ômicron,” says Alexandre Naime Barbosa, an infectiologist, vice president of the SBI (Brazilian Association of Infectious Diseases), a professor and researcher at Unesp (São Paulo State University).

“What we have observed and what scientific research has shown is the complete opposite, that ômicrons have milder symptoms and often without fever,” he says.

But why do some people have a higher fever than expected? The hypothesis raised by Dr. Raquel Muar, a specialist in infectious diseases at São Luiz Hospital (SP) and MIP (Personalized Internal Medicine), is that it is associated with other infections that are common at this time of year covid-19.

“Infections such as tonsillitis, pharyngitis and sinusitis are common in winter in Brazil and can be caused by bacteria,” he explains. “In the case of a combination of infections, it’s something that’s happening now, the fever could be really higher,” he says.

The vaccine remains essential

Knowing that the frames caused by Omikron are lighter is really a relief. But rest assured, this is largely the result of good vaccine adherence not only in Brazil but in the rest of the world.

However, it is necessary to keep this attachment high so that the new waves do not get worse.

“The increase in cases today is not a seasonal problem, due to the colder weather, as is the case with other respiratory diseases,” says Renato Kfouri, director of the SBIm (Brazilian Immunization Association). “It’s the result of the natural loss of immunity we had after the January peaks, between being vaccinated and being unvaccinated,” he says.

Warning: This does not mean that the vaccine is not effective. It continues to protect all people who have completed the three-dose vaccine cycle from severe forms of the disease.

However, it is expected that without so much contact with the virus, the body will be less prone to producing antibodies and will end up being more vulnerable to contamination.

This process is especially common in the elderly. Therefore, the Ministry of Health recommends that people over the age of 50 take a fourth dose. “Restoring the protective effect with three doses is a booster for the body,” says Kfouri.

That is, with or without fever, it is essential to complete a vaccination schedule to keep it protected, as well as to prevent future waves from becoming more severe and intense.

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