on Sundays, the TechWorld brings together some of the week’s top health news in one place. Check out this week’s highlights below.
Vaccine protection is greater than previous infection
People who have had covid-19 once can gain some protection against further SARS-CoV-2 infections, but even those who have had the disease gain additional protection against the virus if vaccinated.
According to a study published last week by the CDC (United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention), unvaccinated people who have already had covid-19 are at more than five times the risk of getting the disease again when compared to those who do not. who were vaccinated and had never had previous contact with the virus.
The data confirm that the risks of going without the vaccine are greater than the risks of receiving the immunizing agent, and a previous infection is no excuse to go without the vaccine.
“All people should be vaccinated against covid-19 as soon as possible, including people who have had the disease” (study authors published by the CDC)
Treatments against covid-19 arrived
It is finally possible to treat covid-19 with a pill. This week, the UK approved the use of the antiviral drug molnupirvir, created by the companies pharmaceutical companies MSD and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics. According to the data presented by the companies, the drug can cut the risk of death in half in people from an at-risk group who present mild to moderate symptoms.
Capsules of the drug molnupiravir, developed by MSD and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics (credit: disclosure/MSD)
On Friday (5), Pfizer announced that its drug to treat covid, the antiviral Paxlovid, was 89% effective against hospitalizations and deaths caused by the disease in people in the risk group.
Both drugs are antivirals and can be used by patients at home at the onset of symptoms. There is still no forecast when the drugs will be available in Brazil. Until then, the only drugs approved for use against covid were monoclonal antibodies, applied in a hospital setting or clinics in more severely ill patients.
Vaccination in children
The United States will begin vaccinating children ages 5 to 11 against covid-19 on Wednesday (3). The immunizing agent used is that of Pfizer, in a pediatric dose (smaller than the adult dose).
For Brazilian specialists, it is now a matter of time before Anvisa (National Health Surveillance Agency) authorizes the use of the immunizing agent in the country.
Climate Change and the Kidneys
An international study carried out by professors from the University of São Paulo (USP) in partnership with the University of Monash, in Australia, which covered 1816 cities in Brazil, revealed that more than 200 thousand cases of kidney disease that occurred in the country between the years 2000 and 2015 were caused by the heat. The results, peer-reviewed, were published in the scientific journal The Lancet Regional Health – Americas and make up the largest study ever conducted on the topic.
The relationship between an increase in average temperature and an increase in hospitalizations, according to the researchers, is noticeable: for every 1 °C increase in the average daily temperature of the analyzed sites, there was an increase of almost 1% in cases of kidney disease. According to the records, the main ones affected are women, children under four years old and people over 80 years old.
The study gives a preview of the risks that global warming brings to human health. Meanwhile, leaders from several countries are meeting at COP26, the 26th edition of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change to negotiate goals and actions with the objective of mitigating human action on the planet and slowing down climate change. The event runs until next Friday (12).