Hugo López-Gatell, Undersecretary of Prevention and Health Promotion, explained at the conference the important concept in the epidemiology of infectious diseases of herd immunity, which allows certain useful decisions to be made in the practice of prevention and control of epidemics.
Covid-19 in Mexico coverage
The Yucatan Health Secretariat revealed that it conducted 119 random tests to detect cases of coronavirus among residents of the San Benito and Lucas de Galvez markets, located in Merida, which yielded 47 positive cases of COVID-19.
Follow the advice of national and local health authorities on how to protect yourself and others against Covid-19 in Mexico. Health authorities are following the stages of this pandemic and updating the recommendations.
Current data on Covid-19 indicates that 80% of people who contracted the disease had mild flu-like symptoms and recovered without any special treatment. The remaining 20% experienced more severe symptoms, 5% of which were severe and required hospitalization and breathing assistance. People over 60 years old with diseases such as high blood pressure, heart problems, or diabetes are more likely to develop a serious illness. About 2.0% of people with this virus infection died. Most of the deaths occurred in older adults with pre-existing conditions, mainly chronic diseases.
The pathways for the virus to enter the body are the mouth, nose, and eyes. Therefore, face shields are not a source of protection, as the eyes are left uncovered and are also a route of entry for the disease. However, they can be used to prevent the patient from spreading saliva drops. There is no need to excessively purchase them, partly because this causes shortages and affects the people who do need them.
A person can get Covid-19 from contact with another person who is infected with the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through droplets from the nose or mouth that are released when an infected person coughs or breathes out. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person, so other people can get Covid-19 if they touch these objects or surfaces and then touch their eyes, nose, or mouth. They can also become infected if they inhale the droplets that have been spread by a person with Covid-19 when they cough or breathe out.
The virus is most easily spread when an infected person has symptoms, but it is also possible to spread the virus before there are symptoms. Symptoms appear 2 to 14 days after infection. So far, there is no vaccine or specific treatment, only treatment of symptoms, and supportive care for severe cases.
Measures to reduce the risk of infection
Frequent hand washing with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or soap and water, as this will kill the virus on the hands.
Maintain a social distance of at least 1 meter between you and other people, particularly those who cough, sneeze, and have a fever. It is important to understand that when someone with a respiratory illness such as Covid-19 coughs or sneezes, it projects small droplets containing the virus that causes this illness. Also, if you are too close, you can inhale the virus.
When coughing or sneezing, do so on the inside of the flexed elbow or with a tissue; throw the tissue away immediately and wash your hands. This action prevents the spread of germs and viruses. Covering your hands when you cough is likely to contaminate objects or people you touch.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Hands touch many surfaces that may be contaminated with the virus. If you touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with your contaminated hands, you can transfer the virus from the surface to yourself. Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched at home and in the workspace.
The most common symptoms of Covid-19 disease are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have pain, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, or diarrhea. Some people become infected, but do not develop any symptoms and are not sick.
If you have a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical advice quickly. This could be due to a respiratory infection or other serious condition. Call 911 in advance and report any recent travel or contact you have had with travelers or the sick.
The above symptoms may be due to a respiratory infection or other serious condition. Respiratory symptoms with fever can have several causes and, depending on your travel history and personal circumstances, one of them may be the SARS-Cov-2 that caused Covid-19. Calling ahead will allow you to be directed quickly to the appropriate health care facility. This will also help prevent the spread of this and other viruses.
This will also help prevent the spread of this and other viruses. Staying home prevents contact with other people and allows medical centers to function more effectively. This action protects you and others from possible infection by covid-19 virus or others.
Stay at home
In Mexico there is an objective to cut off the mechanisms of contagion through the following prevention measures: cancellation of classes and closure of the different places of mass concentration, promoting that people stay at home, that they carry out the basic prevention measures mentioned above and maintain a healthy diet, including fruits and vegetables.
Remember: we are not on vacation; stay home as much as possible. Keep yourself informed and follow the instructions of the health authorities.
Covid-19 diagnostic tests
Because no single test or laboratory assay can identify all of the organisms that cause us to be infected, and often those that work for one are not efficient for another, those testing to confirm the infectious organism that is considered most likely to be causing the symptoms of the disease must perform several different tests.
They are performed in a specific order to rule out and even confirm. They range from very simple tests such as specific stains and microscopic examination or culture in specific media, to those that use detection of antibodies of the patient or antigens of a specific organism or detection of genetic material (such as DNA or RNA) of the infectious organism.
But when it comes to detecting an infectious agent quickly and accurately, the protocol may be different, for example, asking a scan and questions that lead to suspicion of a particular one, in order to make a quick and safe diagnosis by performing a single test, either because of the haste to give effective treatment or because of the cost of the test.
For the diagnostic test for Covid-19 disease, three tests are being used. One is the PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) technique, which involves taking a sample from the bottom of the patient's nose, mouth, or throat, which detects the presence of the virus's genetic material. Although it is a common procedure, it must be performed in laboratories equipped with specialized equipment, takes several hours, and provides reliable results.
The other tests are quick, portable, less expensive tests that provide results in a few minutes, in order to increase diagnostic capacity. The antigen test detects whether a patient harbors the virus, while the antibody tests detect whether the patient has built up immune defenses against the virus. The latter test does not detect the virus, but the response of the immune system to the viral infection, so it only diagnoses after several days after infection. It is very useful as it is an indication of whether a person has overcome the illness.
Obesity, Diabetes, and Coronavirus
The Mexican population is more vulnerable to suffer from COVID-19, since the most severe cases of this disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, have been observed in patients with obesity, diabetes mellitus, and cardiovascular diseases.
Some 96 million of Mexico's 126 million people are overweight, causing up to 300,000 deaths a year. Of these, 8.6 million suffer from diabetes and 15.2 million from hypertension, with mortality rates among the highest among countries such as the United States, Italy, China, and Spain, which have the highest numbers of COVID-19 infections and deaths.
Due to these figures, the percentage of serious cases of COVID-19, could be very high, so the population in Mexico is not only at greater risk of this disease, but also others with serious respiratory problems. The World Health Organization (WHO) has certainly stated that older people and those suffering from chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and obesity, develop serious cases of COVID-19 more often than others.
Unlike what has happened in other countries, so far, deaths in Mexico are of young people between 35 and 60 years of age, but who have obesity, diabetes or hypertension, which states that people who suffer from these diseases are the most likely to contract COVID-19 as a result of death.
Vitamin D in the Covid-19 quarantine
Our body can obtain vitamin D through the skin, from the diet, and also from supplements. Most of us know that in order to have an optimal production of vitamin D, we must expose ourselves to sunlight, without abusing it, since too much light can cause aging and even skin cancer.
But what to do when we are confined to our home, as we are now, due to the contingency of COVID-19. If you are fortunate enough to have a house with a garden, patio, terrace or balcony, it is recommended that you receive some sun daily, to have the main natural source of vitamin D, since, between 80 and 90% of it, we absorb it directly from the sun through our skin, and it is the only one that is acquired in this way.
A deficiency of vitamin D leads to malfunction in the nervous, muscular and immune systems, and to poor absorption of calcium, which is one of the main components of bones, which can lead to loss of bone density, osteoporosis, rickets in children or osteomalacia in adults, which causes weak bones, bone pain and muscle weakness.
Vitamin D has also been associated with several medical conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, and autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis. Now knowing the importance of this vitamin, if you can't get enough sun, you can give it to your body by eating foods like tuna or salmon, eggs, whole milk products like cheese, liver, avocado, or mushrooms.
There are foods that are fortified with vitamin D or vitamin supplements, which should not be abused, because taking too much is harmful. In these days of "confinement", if you can, combine a time of exposure to the sun, a good diet, and moderate exercise, so you will not suffer a deficiency of this essential vitamin.
Follow these tips for sleeping during the pandemic
During the pandemic, mental health is crucial, as associated psychosocial problems will persist even after the health crisis has ended. In this sense, sleep is not only essential for maintaining physical health and a well-functioning immune system, but it is also a key promoter of emotional and mental well-being, helping to combat problems such as stress, depression, and anxiety.
Due to isolation, many people experience insomnia. One of the causes is that we spend most of our time indoors so our exposure to natural light is less. Also, changing work routines and schedules are another factor affecting sleep. To counteract stress and improve the quality of sleep, it is important:
To keep calm and positive thoughts
Avoid overexposure to news information, especially if it does not come from official sources (such as the World Health Organization)
Maintain healthy living habits
Perform activities that we would do in the day under normal circumstances
Respect schedules for each activity and routine: waking up, eating, doing chores, etc.
Exercise at least 30 minutes a day, preferably in the morning
Avoiding naps during the day
When you wake up, expose yourself to natural sunlight
Avoiding physical activity 2 or 3 hours before bed
Listen to relaxing music, meditate or watch some fun, non-stressful content
Avoid light stimulation from tablet screens, computers or phones
Avoiding self-medication or combining medication with alcohol
How do you know if someone is asymptomatic of the COVID-19 virus?
The SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes COVID-19 disease, is acquired through transmission through saliva drops from someone who is infected. As well as the general symptoms: cough, fever, fatigue, loss of smell and taste, and sometimes diarrhea. Symptoms do not always develop, so some people who are asymptomatic live "as if they didn't have" COVID-19. The only way to know if someone is infected is through a laboratory test. Even if a person is found to have the virus in their throat, it is uncertain.
How do you detect people with no symptoms of COVID-19?
Usually, these are people who are contacts of people with COVID-19. When health care workers find someone who is infected with COVID-19 but has no symptoms, they have been tested as a contact of another infected patient. The recommendation is to be vigilant. Don't worry because, for the most part, people who were detected without symptoms are unlikely to develop the disease.
How Covid-19 cases are counted in Mexico?
The National System of Epidemiological Surveillance (SINAVE) is carrying out fieldwork to compare the numbers of COVID-19 in the country. This is a community of doctors and epidemiologists, men and women, from all the states. Patient by patient, they conduct interviews and collect case study information on symptoms, comorbidities, travel history, and contacts.
All of the information that you see presented overnight at the press conference gets released because someone in a community or district health unit was there with a case study and asked the patients for all of this information.
Once they have collected this information, they report it and upload it to an online system of the Sisver (System of Epidemiological Surveillance of Respiratory Disease). A password is entered and, with this database, the cases of COVID-19 are counted.
Through this system, they enter all the information they took from the patient. The moment they click on Submit, the information falls into the federal database. Each of the health care units and jurisdictions has access to this database. It is the states themselves that capture their results.
Through the data on that platform, the federal government extracts the information that the states capture and prepares the slides on COVID-19 that are presented daily. They also use the information to make decisions about the epidemic.
How Covid-19 patients are treated in Mexico
There are two key elements in the care of patients who have tested positive for the new coronavirus, both for those who do not generate serious symptoms and for people who require hospitalization.
There is no specific treatment for the coronavirus in the world, since it is not directly treatable. Early detection in high-risk patients can help reduce the likelihood of complications and even death from covid-19.
Almost 8 out of 10 positive cases, which present mild symptoms, will recover spontaneously since the immune system will eliminate the virus, and among the medical recommendations, such as isolation and rest, abundant hydration with liquids, even with electrolytes. He did not recommend the use of antibiotics to treat the disease.
High-risk populations (older adults, people with serious diseases, pregnant women) should go immediately to a health center, where doctors will perform medical tests and, if necessary, stay in hospital. Drugs are used to treat fever and pain, corresponding to the symptoms of the coronavirus. At-risk patients who are hospitalized may require even non-invasive oxygenation for 5 to 7 days.
How the number of active cases and recovered cases of Covid-19 in Mexico is defined
Active cases are all SARS-CoV-2 positive cases with symptom onset date within the last 14 days. Deaths from active cases are considered part of the active cases because, from a population perspective, they contributed to the transmission of the virus. Cases are counted by date of onset of symptoms and only those less than 14 days old are considered.
The recovered cases are all those positive to SARS-CoV-2 that are not hospitalized, with a symptom onset date of more than 14 days and no date of death. Cases are counted by symptom onset date and by date of death. All cases with a symptom onset date prior to the last 14 days and cases with a set death date are subtracted from the total number of recorded cases.