Thursday, February 2

Will Ómicron mark the end of the COVID pandemic? This is answered by a specialist

The virus del SARS-CoV-2, which causes the disease COVID-19, will continue its evolution Y there will be new variants What omicron, the last to appear. If the population is not vaccinated, the virus has opportunity to continue mutating and there will be variants of concern, warns a specialist from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

The coronavirus is here to stay and will continue to be present, but now we hope it will produce a milder illness, with characteristic symptoms of a respiratory ailment, affirmed the academic of the Faculty of Sciences of the UNAM, José Alberto Campillo Balderas.

The member of Origin of Life Laboratory assured that in Biology “We cannot predict evolution”, and we must not lose sight of a factor of chance: the virus mutations. He further warned that without the COVID-19 vaccine, the virus will have the opportunity to continue mutating with consequences that are still unknown.

Will the pandemic end with omicron?

During the conferenceWill the pandemic end with omicron? What do we know today‘, from the Science from Sciences online cycle, the university student stressed: a factor that is sometimes not considered and is unpredictable, is the human because if we use the wrong face mask, and we don’t wash our hands, if there is not ventilation in closed spaces, etc., we give viruses and their mutations an opportunity to have an advantage.

Campillo Balderas mentioned that there is also a “race” of variants to see which is transmitted more or which is more virulent. People play an important role with their immune system and counteract them, which is why it is so important to get vaccinated.

RNA virus, linked to high mutation rate

Any virus, particularly those of ARN (ácido ribonucleico), they have one high mutation rate, which allows to generate different variants. Those of the SARS-CoV-2, alpha, beta, gamma, delta and omicron they are of concern due to the changes they have presented in the so-called spike protein, which causes high transmissibility and virulence, as well as reduced antigenicity; that is, they are able to “escape” the immune system.

This is a coronavirus will continue to evolve; there will be new variants, that’s for sure, but hopefully they won’t be of concern, and to avoid reaching that situation preventive measures must be continued, especially vaccination, with which we hope ómicron will give in soon, he mentioned.

José Alberto Campillo acknowledged that the number of infections in children increased, and that is because vaccination was directed, first, at the most vulnerable people, those over 60 years of age, with diabetes and other comorbidities, or with a weak immune system. . Then to other sectors until reaching the young people.

However, few minors are inoculated worldwide, despite the fact that they also become infected, transmit the virus, can become hospitalized and die: until last year, more than 900 minors died from this disease in our country. Due to the above, vaccination campaigns should also focus on this population, recommended the university student.

Do you want to end omicron? get vaccinated

It has been seen that heVaccines protect against variants of this coronavirus; This is so because they all belong to the same “family tree” and are like evolutionary “siblings” or “cousins”, who resemble each other. They have mutations, but also sequences (protein parts) that remain unchanged, such as the polymerase, which is conserved because the virus needs it to replicate.

The specialist warned about the health inequality, where some countries apply the fourth vaccination and others, mainly African, do not even reach 10 percent of their population.

Omicron was generatedprobably because there was people with a weak immune system, which allowed the virus to “adapt”. That is why it is essential to pay attention to the countries with little vaccination, because variants of concern can be generated there. “The pandemic, unfortunately, has exposed the inequalities that affect us all,” he said.

Every human should be vaccinated, no matter if they are a child, an adult, from Mexico or Tanzania, with a weak immune system or not. until 85 percent of the population I am, we will have the so-called “herd immunity”.

The vaccine produces antibodies

Through mathematical models it has been calculated that at the beginning or middle of the following month the infections could decrease in our country. However, that will depend on how many people get vaccinated; we have 60 percent with two doses and the rest with one or none, and there remains a space so that it has the opportunity to continue mutating and there are variants that concern us, he insisted.

The vaccine, José Alberto Campillo clarified, generates antibodies, since it activates the cellular immune system; but we are still susceptible to becoming infected and transmitting the virus. That is why there have been cases of reinfections.

The Science academic recommended using certified or three-layer face masks, avoiding closed spaces, keeping a healthy distance (because when we constantly talk we emit droplets of saliva that carry the virus), in addition to constant hand washing and getting vaccinated against the virus and ignorance, it works.