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The seventh wave of Covid has already killed thousands, although the final figure is still pending consolidation of data, and the death toll from all causes has increased in Spain. More than 4,000 deaths between the months of April and MaySomething unusual for this time of action.
Given the added deaths to the global health count, which is unreliable because it presents both delayed and abrupt updates, spring would have already added some 5,000 deaths to the pandemic’s sad account. At this rate, there would be 6,000 at the end of the season., In many aspects, from the vaccination received to the characteristics of the variant and going through the measures, the latest growth is being very different from the others. However, the amount of lives it is taking is the same as in the fourth and fifth waves.
The daily mortality monitoring system (MoMo) for all causes apparently records a new period of additional deaths, the seventh since the pandemic began. They almost all coincide with so-called Covid waves, albeit with one small change: the spring of 2021—the fourth wave—recorded thousands of deaths linked to the coronavirus, but not a clear increase in the general death rate. rather than, s There was an increase in mortality in the summer outbreak of 2020Which no one dared to call it a wave at that time.
The latest outbreak of the virus, now dominated by the micron BA.2 lineage, has claimed an average of 67 to 50 to 100 lives per day, according to the deaths added to the health report. The total figure for these two months, with over 4,000 deaths, would therefore coincide with the mortality rate prepared by MoMo in the same period. The death toll between April and May is more than 4,305, with only 128 due to temperature., With both data incomplete, it is clear that the death toll in this new phase of the pandemic is much more than desirable.
The MoMo offers the deaths that have occurred in relation to the deaths expected by the statistics, but does not give a specific cause. For their part, health reports publish the global number of Covid deaths, but not the date on which they occurred. Some are added to the registry months late and so on, There are current deaths that can take months to appear, as have happened in the past., In this case, since both the data coincide, it can be assumed that, as in the previous waves, the high Covid deaths and deaths are largely related.
The more deaths seen in the months of April and May do not generate much more clearly if we compare it with those that are usually in the winter for years, even before Covid. The most striking thing about the current growth is not its severity, but that it occurs in the middle of spring. Current except 2020 Highest ever recorded during the months of April and May For at least eight years, when the records available on the MoMo panel begin. In fact, the excess of deaths in May 2020 was also less than the current one, although it is not significant as we have come from a brutal April.
Therefore, the figures are subject to great uncertainty: on the one hand, it is difficult to distinguish – although, in theory, it is – between deaths ‘by Covid’ or ‘with Covid’. On the other hand, the general delay in information, which is now less detectable with the new monitoring system, can cause the actual figure to exceed any figures we are giving, as has been the case on previous occasions. In the data from the Carlos III Institute of Health, already consolidated, although they usually show a significant delay, it is reflected more than 3,000 deaths from covid In those two months. The way you look at it, those are high numbers, and even more so in a context in which it looks like we’ve already left this kind of data behind.
may decrease immunity
It is a lot or a little, depending on how it is interpreted; In my opinion, this is a lot, given that we had more than 80% of the population vaccinated and the means at our disposal to dodge the wave, explains Antonio Guirao, a researcher at the University of Murcia, who analyzed the data. Is. on the pandemic since its inception. The start of the seventh wave, he recalls, coincided with the new surveillance strategy, the abandonment of indoor masks, and almost informational silence. You Many vulnerable people may have low immunityBecause more and more time has passed since they were vaccinated.
In Europe, more than nine countries follow recommendations from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) to give a fourth dose, or second booster, to people over the age of 80. The third more than seven months ago. In Spain, the health minister, Carolina Darías, pointed to the week that could not be approved Until a new generation of vaccines becomes availableA situation that the EMA does not consider possible until after the summer.
In any case, the deaths, although they are the most dramatic outcome, are not the only ones left by the virus. As more and more people are being saved after receiving treatment, it can be said that, in a way, death is the last and least desired outcome of a range of health problems, ranging from mild illness to hospitalization. involves going through the cases as they develop, until admitted. Constant covid. We don’t know yet, because we’re living it in real time, the consequences of this massive transition., Clinical studies will tell,” Guirav says.
Patients without adequate follow-up
Unfortunately, it is becoming increasingly clear what will be one of the legacies of the pandemic: a poor primary care. “It is true that the seventh wave has been mild for many patients, but not for all”, highlights Professor Joan Carles March from the Andalusian School of Public Health. “Not following properly, Not monitoring these patients, whether they have covid or not, affects their daily lives and, therefore, for their quality of life and their health status”, he explains.
“It runs autonomously, but, in general, it is clear that we continue with primary care with many deficits, with fewer professionals than needed. The shortage of doctors and nurses has worsened at the moment. Renewal Not as much as people who retire,” describes March. Which leads to the fact that, aside from, or added to, the Covid waves, “we will probably have Higher mortality of older and frail patients“, associated with “lack of adequate follow-up of their pathology”.
In fact, it can be said that the death toll of the seventh wave is, in a way, “mixed”, as the March explains: “Sometimes it is due to covid and sometimes it is with covid, a mix The number of people who die from covid is probably less because of the effects of the virus. First, because the vaccines have had an effect. There are also antiviral treatments that can be helpful and have emerged in recent months. What is less understood is that older, frail, elderly patients do not have the same follow-up that was done with them before., And, of course, it affects.
according to the norms of