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Weekly Roundups

Health System Responds to Omicron: The Week in Health

By Miriam Bello | Thu, 01/20/2022 - 11:27

Today, Mexico broke its record of COVID-19 infections for the second consecutive day by adding 60,552 cases and 323 deaths in the last 24 hours. Yesterday, the country registered 49,343 cases and 320 deaths. To manage the virus, the Ministry of Health is implementing several actions, some of them controversial.

Here is the Week in Health!

Quarantine Period Reduced

Despite the rising cases, the Ministry of Health reduced the quarantine period for COVID-19 patients from 14 to seven days. The ministry argues that the Omicron variant is reported to have a shorter contagious period than the regular SARS-CoV-2.

Epidemiological Map System to Change

The Ministry of Health is adjusting its epidemiological map system to better determine safety protocols in a new environment in which everything, from contagions to recoveries, moves faster.

The new measures for determining the status of different states will take into account not only case numbers but hospital availability and vaccination rates. The pandemic has long evolved since the original measures were set, leading to different relationships between case numbers and health effects on the population. Future epidemiological maps will reflect this new relationship.

COVID-19 Treatment Pills for Mass Distribution

Mexico’s Deputy Minister of Health Hugo López-Gatell announced that the country is negotiating with Merck and Pfizer to acquire and distribute molnupiravir and paxlovid, the approved medicines for treating COVID-19 patients.

Sketchy Tests Off the Market

The Federal Consumer Attorney's Office (PROFECO) reported that it will withdraw some COVID-19 tests of Chinese origin from the market, citing they are unreliable. These tests use a patient's blood sample to determine results and are mainly sold online.

Protection Against COVID-19 Provided by the Same Virus

People who were previously infected with COVID-19 had greater protection against the Delta variant than those who were only vaccinated, revealed an investigation by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This analysis did not include the period of infections with Omicron.

Genes Decide

A group of Polish scientists has found a gene that doubles the risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19, a discovery they hope can help identify people at higher risk. This gene is present in 14 percent of the Polish population, compared to 9 percent in the EU and 27 percent in India, Reuters reported.

Causes for Multiple Sclerosis Discovered

Researchers at Harvard University found a strong link between the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and multiple sclerosis. The results suggest that Epstein-Barr multiplies the risk of suffering from multiple sclerosis by 32.

Gen Z Choose Ethics Over Wages

Research from Bupa shows that Gen Z wants to work for businesses that have firm environmental, social and governance (ESG) commitments. The generation seems ready to prioritize mental health over a high salary.

Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Senior Journalist and Industry Analyst