Scientists have refuted popular erroneous opinions about COVID-19.
Many myths have emerged around COVID-19 during the pandemic. Some, the most common of them, have been debunked by scientists. The British edition of The Guardian published an article by Christina Pagel, director of the Department of clinical, operational research at University College London, who applies advanced analytical methods to solving problems in the healthcare sector. So, here are some facts about the Sars-CoV-2 virus confirmed by science and which conjectures are refuted by theory and practice.
“People who never show symptoms of COVID are less contagious than people, who have symptoms, but they can still have a high viral load, and they can transmit the virus. And the peak of contagion in those who really have symptoms is a day or two before they start feeling bad.
Since people who feel good are much more likely to be out of the house than those who feel bad, people who have COVID either without symptoms or before they have symptoms contribute a lot to the spread of the virus. One study found that people without symptoms are responsible for more than half of new infections.
Do not think that as long as you feel good, you are not a danger to others. You represent her!”
* “I will not infect anyone and will not transmit the virus because I am fully vaccinated”
“This is not true,” Christina Pagel says. – There have been many documented cases of COVID infection by fully vaccinated people. Although the vast majority did not require hospitalization, many, such as [a well-known British journalist and presenter] Andrew Marr, still felt very heavy for a few weeks. We also have evidence from studies by medical professionals in India and Vietnam that vaccinated people can transmit the virus to each other.
Vaccines are perfect for protecting against serious diseases but less effective for preventing infection. Data from the Imperial REACT study in England shows that vaccines effectively prevent infection from 50% to 60% (regardless of whether you have symptoms).
Recent data show that in the early stages of infection, vaccinated people have the same high viral load as unvaccinated infected people, but vaccinated people get rid of the virus faster. Vaccination helps prevent both infection and transmission, but it is imperfect, and you certainly can’t assume that you can’t get sick or that you can’t infect others.”
* “I already had COVID, so I don’t need the vaccine”
“Having COVID does give you reasonable protection against re-infection, but it’s not as good as the protection you get from vaccination,” Christina Pagel says. – Immunity after vaccination lasts longer and is more resistant to new variants. If you have already had COVID, then vaccination will greatly strengthen your immunity.
The best immunity that we see now is in people who are fully vaccinated after being infected with COVID. However, if you have recently had COVID, you need to wait 28 days after a positive test result before getting vaccinated.”
*”I have a good immune system, so I don’t need a vaccine”
“Of course,” writes an expert from University College London, “a good immune system is better than a bad one. However, previously healthy people can still get very sick with COVID, including going to the hospital and dying. We also know that between 10% and 30% of adults can get “long-term COVID,” even with a mild initial illness.
And it’s not just about you. You may well get infected with COVID and cope with it without any problems or even have no symptoms, but who have you infected? We can all contact vulnerable people in the supermarket, on public transport, at a family party, or in a pub. We are indebted to them so that we do not get infected ourselves.”
* “Children are fine if they get infected with COVID”
“Children are at a much lower risk of severe or long–term COVID disease than adults, but they can still face it,” Christina Pagel says in her article. – In England, about one in 200 children with a confirmed case of COVID has been hospitalized. Children can also develop a so-called multisystem inflammatory syndrome a few weeks after infection with COVID, which can be very serious and require intensive therapy. This happens very rarely, affecting about 30 children per 100 thousand children infected with COVID.
The exact number of children who develop long-term COVID with persistent symptoms is still being studied, with various studies giving estimates from 2% to 8%. These are lower rates than adults, but they are also not equal to zero. Given the continuing high level of infection of children in the foreseeable future (especially if they are not vaccinated and return to school), even 2% of a large number of children is quite a high figure.
Since April 19, more than 420,000 cases of the disease have been registered in the UK among children aged 0 to 19 years and more than 2,000 cases of hospitalization of children with COVID aged 0 to 17 years.”
* “Masks don’t work”
“Now we know,” the expert notes, “that COVID is mainly transmitted through the air and is spread by people breathing, talking, shouting, and singing. Masks are by no means perfect, but they do prevent your breath from getting into the other person’s face when you interact with them.
We wear masks primarily to protect others from our breath, not to protect ourselves from others. If you want to protect both others and yourself, you need to buy a higher quality mask that really fits well. The best masks are N95, FFP2, or FFP3, which have proven to be more protective.
A recent study showed that a high proportion of people wearing masks is associated with a decrease of about 20% in the overall transmission rates among the population, which is a significant indicator.”
* “This wave of coronavirus will be the last…”
“There were headlines in the UK where each of the previous waves was called the last, and they were wrong,” Christina Pagel admits. – The government says that the situation is unpredictable, and many experts expect that the infection will grow again with the onset of autumn and winter.
Since it is unlikely that the infection will fall to a low level before the next surge, you can argue that this is all part of the same wave, but there is a possibility that we will be in a world with a high incidence rate for several more months. It remains to be seen how high, long and bumpy this story will be.
Finally, if a new variant of the coronavirus appears that is more contagious than Delta or infects vaccinated people better, it will change the rules of the game again, as Delta did in May and Alpha did last December. In such a scenario, a new, even more a serious wave will surely arise.
We don’t know how likely this is, but as long as COVID remains widespread worldwide, it will probably last for months and possibly years in the future. That’s why we can’t definitely say that this is the last wave, and that’s why it’s so important to help the whole world get vaccinated.”