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The ICU bug: What is Candida auris that is worrying doctors

The coronavirus may indicate that it is slowly becoming endemic, but a germ seems to be the next threat to humanity.

This is the so-called Candida auris, a resistant, which has already made its appearance and has worried the global scientific community.

What is the bacterium Candida auris

Candida auris is a fungus that when it infects humans can cause serious medical complications, especially respiratory infections, ear infections and sepsis.

The fungus was first identified in Japan in 2009. These fungal infections are fatal in 70% of cases, due to the resistance of the fungus to existing treatments, particularly echinocandins, azoles and polyenes. They effectively infect patients in a hospital setting, especially in intensive care units.

Sypsas: "It is already creating a problem for us - We will come up against it"

The discussion was opened by the professor of Infectious Diseases Pathology at the Medical School of Athens University, and secretary of the Hellenic Society of Infections, Nikos Sypsas, who even spoke of a deadly germ, much more so than the coronavirus.

Mr. Sypsas, speaking at the 21st Panhellenic Congress of Infections, explained that it is "a highly resistant germ, which is already causing us problems and we will come up against it."

How this new germ is created

As the professor underlined, "we are going through an endemic phase of the pandemic. But there are other threats, such as very resistant germs, which are a big problem. In 2050 the first cause of death will be very resistant germs and the causes of very resistant germs are the over-consumption of antibiotics as well as bad hand hygiene practices ".

At the same time, Mr. Sypsas stressed that after the coronavirus, the health system should focus on the problem of persistent infections in hospitals. As he mentioned, in recent years the people responsible for dealing with problems from the highly resistant germs have stopped acting, as they also fell in the fight against the coronavirus.

  • Published in World

Univ. Prof. Vasilakopoulos: Herd immunity -without vaccination- presupposes 4 million infections

Professor of Pulmonology and Intensive Care, Theodoros Vasilakopoulos, made the nightmarish estimate that if the vaccinations do not proceed, 4 million people will need to get sick in order to achieve immunity of the herd.

As he noted, if the population is not vaccinated, in order to reach immunity of the herd, out of the 5 million Greeks who have been left unvaccinated, 3.5-4 million people will be infected.

"But this will have a cost in the loss of human life and the NSS will not be able to bear it. "99% of coronavirus deaths could be prevented by vaccination."

An infection explosion in the near future

Mr. Vasilakopoulos, warned, speaking to Sky, that we will have an outbreak of cases in the near future, emphasizing that there is no safe way to restart without vaccination.

"The theory that we can open with strict protocols does not exist. With current vaccination rates, the number of daily cases will be very high. Given that the Delta strain that will prevail is 60% more contagious, we must be 60% more vaccinated and 60% more careful", said Mr. Vasilakopoulos, reminding that in 15 days out of 500 cases we reached 3,500.

Responding to those who refuse to get the vaccine because they are afraid of the long-term consequences on the grounds that it has not been tested for a long time, he noted that with the vaccine it is exposed to the spike protein. That is, if he gets sick, he is not afraid of the consequences of exposure to the proteins of the virus and with the vaccine that the exposure is lower than he is in a natural infection, is he afraid?", He noted.

For the Guillain-Barré syndrome associated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the professor said that one is a thousand times more likely to develop it if the virus is transmitted.

Vaccinated people are much less likely to transmit the virus

Asked if the vaccinated person could transmit the virus, he explained that the chances were much lower. "I have little chance of having the virus inside me. And when I have it, I have it in such a concentration that it is much smaller than I would have it if I were unvaccinated. So the chance of transmitting it is much lower. I can not say that there is no chance, but it is so small that it is not a problem."

Regarding the possibility of serious illness, Mr. Vasilakopoulos pointed out that it is minimal and mainly concerns people who despite the vaccine did not have a good immune response, because they were taking drugs that prevented the immune system from reacting well, such as transplant recipients, people with rheumatism and cancer patients who are immunosuppressed.

On the vaccination of minors

Regarding the vaccination of children, he said that children in the US are being vaccinated en masse, pointing out that parents should stop seeing the vaccine as taboo. "Children are very unlikely to get seriously ill and lose their lives. However, we have lost three children under the age of 18 in Greece so far and many more have been admitted to the ICU. Imagine a child alone for 10 days in a Unit, without his parents", he added.

Finally, regarding the possibility of a new lockdown, he stressed that the country can not close because some do not want to be vaccinated. "If the situation worsens, the solution is to drastically limit the activities of the unvaccinated. In summer they can make use of mixed outdoor spaces. In winter when the temperature drops, what will happen? Will they allow them in a restaurant? He will stay at home," he concluded.

  • Published in Greece

Covid - Greece: Despite signs of fewer infections, situation remains critical

The government's decision on when and how the current lockdown is lifted will be based exclusively on epidemiological data, the development of the current second wave of the pandemic and the experts' conclusions, said Deputy Minister for Civil Protection & Crisis Management Nikos Hardalias during Monday's live briefing. 

  • Published in Greece
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