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Covid-19: First Pirola case confirmed in Ecuador

Monday, December 18th 2023 - 09:58 UTC
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According to the WHO, “Pirola” is circulating worldwide and is considered a variant of concern According to the WHO, “Pirola” is circulating worldwide and is considered a variant of concern

Ecuadorian authorities confirmed Sunday the detection of the first case of the so-called Pirola variant (BA.2.86) of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in a woman in Quito, who has been reported to be stable and “receiving outpatient treatment at home,” according to a statement from the Health Ministry, which is carrying out an epidemiological follow-up and monitoring of the patient.

Ecuador is the fourth country in the region to report the presence of this subvariant, after Brazil, Peru, and Chile, said the MSP. The infection was ratified after genetic sequencing testing with help from the National Institute of Public Health Research (Inspi), it was explained.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “Pirola” is circulating worldwide and is considered a variant of concern.

Local experts urged the population to maintain preventive measures including vaccination against Covid-19 and influenza, in addition to wearing facemasks if respiratory symptoms occur, improving ventilation of premises, and avoiding crowds.

Brazil

Meanwhile, the Brazilian Ministry of Health issued a new recommendation earlier this month for people who are either over 60 years of age or those immunocompromised over 12 years of age to receive a new dose of the bivalent Covid-19 vaccine if they took their last injection more than six months ago.

“We remain attentive to the epidemiological scenario of Covid-19. With the identification of two new outbreaks in the country, JN.1 and JG.3, we decided to bring forward a new dose of the bivalent vaccine for priority groups. Vaccination is essential for our protection,” Health Minister Nísia Trindade wrote on social media.

“We always work to ensure that the most up-to-date, safe, and effective vaccines approved by Anvisa [National Health Surveillance Agency] are available. Especially for people in risk groups or with flu-like symptoms, greater protection is recommended, such as wearing a mask indoors and avoiding crowds,” she added while pointing out that the antiviral nirmatrelvir/ritonavir was available for patients aged 65 and over and for immunosuppressed people aged 18 and over, as soon as symptoms appear and a positive test came out.

In Brazil, the JN.1 subvariant, initially detected in Ceará, already accounts for 3.2% of records worldwide. The JG.3 sublineage, also identified in Ceará, is being monitored in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Goiás.

”The Ministry of Health remains aligned with all the scientific evidence, with the most up-to-date recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) for tackling covid-19, including planning for vaccination in 2024, which is already underway,“ Trindade was also quoted by Agencia Brasil as saying.

”The portfolio guarantees that the SUS [Unified Health System] will always have available the most up-to-date, safe, and effective vaccines approved by Anvisa [National Health Surveillance Agency],” she added.

Paraguay

Paraguayan Congressman Guillermo Rodríguez of Yo Creo-Alto Paraná submitted a bill not to include Covid-19 vaccines in the national Expanded Program of Immunizations (PAI), it was reported in Asunción.

The lawmaker claims that at the time of the pandemic vaccines were admitted in Paraguay in an emergency context which allowed for the bypass of the normal procedures.

Rodríguez insists that “all the standards established by Law No. 4621/12, National Vaccine Law” must now be followed since “we are no longer in a pandemic.”

He also highlighted that some European countries have suspended certain vaccines and “even prosecuted companies that have manufactured some of these vaccines.”

The bill seeks to prevent the Covid-19 vaccines from becoming mandatory, “endangering the integrity of children in early childhood, since there is no scientific evidence of the benefits of these vaccines, but, on the contrary, there are very harmful side effects such as myocarditis and other no less dangerous side effects.”

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