Immunity to COVID-19 does not save us from the disease. The drug that reduces the risk of death, but expires in warehouses in European countries

In the case of SARS-COV-2 infection, a lasting immunity is not obtained in terms of re-infection, but one that is more aimed at cellular immunity, which means that when we get the disease again we do not get severe forms, attract the attention of the doctor who points out that, in the future, it would be good to isolate ourselves if we get sick.

Photo Archive

Over time, more and more Romanians have acquired immunity to COVID-19, either through the disease or through the vaccine, but this only protects us from the serious forms, draws the attention of Dr. Virgil Musta, from the “Victor Babeş” Infectious Diseases Hospital in Timisoara.

Some immunity has been acquired, but it is known that in the case of infection with SARS-COV-2, no lasting immunity is obtained with respect to reinfection. It is an immunity aimed more at cellular immunity, this means that when you get the disease again you don't get severe forms. But you can get sick 6-9 months after the last infection, that's how immunity is in the current forms of COVID-19. The same things happen through cowsn”, he explained.

Almost a thousand cases of COVID-19 were reported last week in our country, according to INSP. At the same time, 13 deaths in patients with COVID-19 were recorded in the counties of Tulcea, Bihor, Neamţ, Bistriţa Năsăud and Constanța. Two thirds (66.7%) of the deaths occurred in unvaccinated people, reveals the weekly surveillance report.

Although we are now treating milder forms of the disease, the condition is life-threatening for patients who also have other illnesses. In fact, INSP data show that 71% of people who died of COVID-19 from the beginning of the pandemic until now had cardiovascular diseases, and 93.8% had at least one associated comorbidity.

The evolution of the current strains has led to a much milder form of the disease and the risk is in people with important risk factors, in diabetics, obesity, in people with neoplasms or in treatment for neoplasms or immunosuppressants, with cardiovascular diseases. In the rest, we had people 90 or over 90 years old who, through specific therapy, passed through the infection with COVID-19 favorably“, transmitted Dr. Virgil Musta.

Symptoms for COVID-19

Doctor Virgil Musta explained to “the truth” what are the symptoms that covid is giving now.

The symptoms are very similar to those of other viruses or the flu, namely: fever, headache, muscle and bone pain, sore throat, sometimes even soft stools, diarrhea and then a cough, which is initially dry and then with secretions. It's very hard to know it's COVID-19 if we don't do a test. Only if we have an epidemiological criterion, if someone nearby has contracted COVID. From the point of view of symptoms, because both the flu and other respiratory infections have similar symptoms, it is difficult to make a diagnosis of COVID. It is based either on the antigen test or on the specific PCR” says the doctor.

Isolation is no longer mandatory for this condition, but is essential if we want to protect those who are still at risk.

Isolation is necessary from the point of view of preventing the spread of the disease. However, the period of isolation is shorter, because the contagiousness of the virus is no longer that long. I think that isolation for 5-7 days is enough, in the more severe forms, there the isolation is longer, but it is done in the hospital. Theoretically, with a low risk of contagion, after five to seven days it is no longer necessary to wear a mask“, added the doctor.

Moreover, after four years, the way in which the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus is treated has also changed.

Vitamins, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories and symptoaptics are used, i.e. for fever – antithermic, for cough – antitussive. If the patient presents risk factors, then we recommend Paxlovid, if we do the treatment at home, and in the hospital they administer Redemsivir”, says Virgil Musta.

Thousands of doses of Paxlovid, about to expire

Paxlovid is a highly effective antiviral against severe COVID, reducing the risk of death by 73 percent if given within the first five days of infection, according to a preliminary study by the National Institutes of Health. However, he has been underutilized in Europe. It's not just entire batches of COVID-19 vaccines that are expiring, but also millions of doses of the antiviral.

Paxlovid, made by Pfizer, was bought in large quantities in 2022. About 3.1 million doses of the drug, worth €2 billion, are set to expire in the UK, Germany, Spain, Italy and France by the end of this month, writes Euronews. One of the reasons why the drug has not been used so often is that “there are not so many people at risk who need therapy“, considers doctor Virgil Musta.

The time we should report to the emergency room is when we experience breathing difficulties such as rapid and shallow breathing, doctors say. The good news is that the season of respiratory infections that filled our country's hospitals is over.

It was a busy time at the hospital because there were several cases of infectious-contagious diseases. we measles epidemic, we had cases of the flu, we had cases of Covid and quite a few cases of scarlet fever. All these infections made the hospital quite full and we struggled to cope with admissions, but we managed. It seems that we are now in a decline in the number of cases of these pathologies“, the doctor from the “Victor Babeş” Infectious Diseases Hospital in Timisoara said.