Scientists note that the arsenal of protecting humanity from coronavirus is small – vaccination and direct-acting antiviral drugs. In early July, it became known that almost all patients in medical institutions with COVID-19 in Russia who are on artificial lung ventilation are believed to have a “delta” strain of COVID-19. How does this Indian strain threaten humanity and how to protect oneself from it – in the material of “Lenta.ru”.
The strains “delta” and “delta plus” are called Indian because they were first discovered and described in India. The World Health Organization estimates they are about twice as infectious as the Wuhan variant of the coronavirus. To date, “Indian covid” has been found in 98 countries.
Director of the National Institute of Allergic and Infectious Diseases of the United States Anthony Fauci in an interview with NBC said that the Indian strain of coronavirus, recorded in all North American states, is more dangerous than other mutations – it is “more deadly”, more infectious and easier than other varieties, is transmitted from humans man.
Scientists also note that the main symptoms of the disease have changed in patients with coronavirus infection. A study by British scientists from the ZOE COVID Symptom Study demonstrates that the symptoms of the delta coronavirus strain resemble those of a severe cold – headache, runny nose, sore throat, sneezing, persistent cough. In addition, one of the characteristic signs of the disease with the Indian strain of the coronavirus “delta” doctors call an upset of the gastrointestinal tract.
The history of mankind is rich in examples of terrible epidemics with a huge number of victims. But after the English physician Edward Jenner made the first vaccination against smallpox at the end of the 18th century, it became obvious that vaccines could protect a person from contracting dangerous infections. Over the past centuries, they have saved millions of human lives.
According to WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adanom Ghebreyesus, 70 percent of the population in every country in the world should be vaccinated by July next year. He believes that “this is the best way to slow the pandemic, save lives and spur a truly global economic recovery, and prevent further dangerous options from prevailing.”
Large-scale vaccination of the population of Russia against coronavirus infection began on January 18, vaccination is given free of charge to everyone. To date, four domestic vaccines against COVID-19 have been registered in the country: Sputnik V, EpiVacCorona, KoviVak and Sputnik Light. The number of Russians vaccinated with the first component of the coronavirus vaccine has exceeded 21 million, which is about 14 percent of the country’s population. However, up to 60 percent of the indicators of the formed herd immunity planned by the Ministry of Health is still far away.
According to experts, vaccination will sooner form herd immunity and defeat the pandemic. But to date, the recommendations of the Ministry of Health do not yet provide accurate information on the level of protection of vaccinated against COVID-19 infection, but they note that the vaccination will protect a person from serious illness and death.
Obviously, vaccination is necessary, but this is a means of primary prevention, the vaccine does not cure coronavirus infection. In addition, many Russians cannot get vaccinated due to the peculiarities of the immune system or chronic diseases. In this extremely difficult period of vaccination, and in fact the formation of collective immunity, to protect themselves and their families, the specialists of the Ministry of Health recommend taking intranasal forms of interferon alpha like Genferon Light and the old proven “Arbidol” for prevention (before use, you need to consult a specialist – approx. “Lenta.ru”), which can help not to get sick, and in case of illness, the drug can reduce symptoms and shorten the recovery and recovery time.
According to the Moscow pharmacologist, Doctor of Medical Sciences Elena Kareva, “vaccination against influenza or covid correlates very well with Arbidol, it does not conflict with the vaccine at all, because they have completely different mechanisms of action.” “A vaccine is a stimulation of one’s own forces in the formation of immunity, and” Arbidol “is an aid in protecting against the entry of a virus into a cell,” the pharmacologist believes.
“Arbidol” refers to direct-acting antiviral drugs that block the fusion of viruses with human cells. According to Elena Kareva, “regardless of the virulence and severity of the disease, the basic principles of infection remain the same. “Arbidol” works both in one variant of the strain and in others ”. She told “Lente.ru” that “without penetration, the virus will not work, and the drug blocks the penetration and, accordingly, the multiplication of the virus.”
For Elena Kareva, the most important characteristic of Arbidol is a wide range of antiviral activity. “It is almost impossible to diagnose a specific type of acute respiratory viral infection based on external signs, and laboratory confirmation must wait at least a day. During this time, the virus has time to develop, the pharmacologist emphasizes. – The earlier we begin to treat correctly, the higher the effectiveness of therapy. “Arbidol” is the drug that we can prescribe right away, without hesitation, because the most dangerous influenza and covid according to the WHO classification are sensitive to “Arbidol”. “
Since the inception of “Arbidol”, more than 120 preclinical and clinical studies of the drug have been carried out, about a third of them are foreign, for example, in the USA, Australia, China, France. One of the most important and large-scale studies was carried out in Russia according to all the canons of evidence-based medicine – the double-blind placebo-controlled study “ARBITER” confirmed the effectiveness of “Arbidol”. The study was conducted over four years, from 2015 to 2019, and its results were published in the authoritative medical journal Therapeutic Archives.
“The research results allow us to speak, firstly, about the effectiveness, and secondly, which is very important, about the safety of the drug,” says Professor Elena Kareva. – “Arbidol” has a very good history, a very good evidence base, widespread use practically throughout the entire post-Soviet space. China loves him very much. From European countries – the Netherlands, they generally prescribed it both for the treatment of influenza and acute respiratory infections. “
The fact that the National Health Commission of China included Umifenovir (the international name for Arbidol) in the treatment plan for a new coronavirus infection at the end of 2019 also speaks volumes. The drug is still recommended by the Chinese Ministry of Health for the treatment and prevention of COVID-19.
In Russia, “Arbidol” is approved by the Ministry of Health of Russia as an active agent against coronavirus, a corresponding change has been made to the medication instruction. The drug is also included in the latest 11th version of the recommendations of the Ministry of Health of Russia on the prevention and treatment of COVID-19, in the section corresponding to the mild and moderate severity of the disease. And this is more than 80 percent of all diagnosed cases.
Elena Kareva believes that in comparison with other drugs of a wide spectrum of antiviral action, “Arbidol” is distinguished by its greater safety and the absence of side effects. Another great advantage of the drug, according to Elena Kareva, is that it “practically does not cause the resistance of the strains to itself.” Therefore, according to her, we have prescribed it not only for treatment, but also for prophylaxis. “If it’s the flu season or an epidemic of the same covid, and we don’t know the exact diagnosis, then we will prevent COVID-19 with Arbidol and treat it for the flu,” explains Elena Kareva. “I think this is the perfect story.”