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Carmen Farinas (Infectious Diseases of Valdesia): “The epidemic is not gone yet”

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The head of the Department of Communicable Diseases of Valdesia, Carmen Farinas Alvarez, analyzes the reality of the epidemic today. the Dr. Carmen Farinas studied medicine at the University of Oviedo He specializes in internal medicine Marqués de Valdecilla University Hospital. Moreover, it is Professor of Medicine at the University of Cantabria He is one of the experts who have made the Cantabrian Hospital a reference in the field of infectious diseases.

Epidemiologist Lazarus coordinated a study involving more than 400 specialists, and published in the journal Nature, warns that the pandemic is far from over, agree? I agree that the epidemic has not gone away, in fact, the World Health Organization has not put an end to it. We do not know whether the new variants of SARS-CoV-2 can escape much or not at all from the immunity provided by vaccines or by actually passing the disease.

And what is the reality of COVID-19 in Cantabria and Spain today? In both Spain and Cantabria, the number of patients with COVID-19 requiring hospitalization has decreased a lot. This is mainly because vaccination provides us with defenses so that the disease is less severe. Hence the importance of vaccination. Approved vaccines against COVID-19 have been shown to be very safe and effective. They are the best way to help stop the epidemic.

Do you think we are currently prepared if we face a new pandemic situation again? We are more prepared, we have learned a lot about COVID-19, but we will not be sufficiently prepared for a new pandemic, because each pandemic has its own characteristics depending on the bacteria or virus that causes it.

Is Corona virus still unknown? We know them better and, above all, we know how to deal with them with the vaccines and treatments we are already using. But we have already known about coronaviruses for a long time, that they cause mild “colds” especially in children every fall and winter. But then others arrived that caused more serious infections, especially lung infections like SARS and/or MERS and then SARS-CoV-2 arrived. After what we’ve been through, we can never guarantee that another variant will appear and that we know it well enough.

Your work at Valdecilla has been very relevant in the last two years, how have you got through it and what has this pandemic brought you as a professional? From a professional point of view it was a challenge. Suddenly we had many patients, managed to occupy as many as 11 floors of Valdecilla Hospital in the first wave, and we must have learned everything. The protocols that told us how we should act or deal with patients, changed from morning to afternoon according to the information we received and the experience we had. From a personal standpoint, a huge effort that I wasn’t aware of until everything got better, but it was fully rewarded by the patients and professionals.

Finally, Valdesia is a leading hospital and reference in many specialties, is it also in the field of infectious diseases? Also in the field of Infectious Diseases as evidenced by our many awards recognizing excellence in patient care. We are leaders in implementing antibiotic therapy improvement programs to prescribe the best antibiotic therapy for infectious disease patients. Also in translational research, especially in infections caused by multi-resistant bacteria and infections in immunocompromised patients, such as HIV-infected patients or transplant recipients.

Source: Official College of Physicians of Cantabria.

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