Anger returned to one of the most talked about issues in the health sector last month. In Minas Gerais, three children were infected with a viral disease, which was transmitted to humans by domestic or wild animals. The incidents have alerted the public to a final outbreak.
Carla Kobayashi, an infectious disease specialist at Sirio-Lebanese Hospital, explains the symptoms.
“These infected animals transmit the virus to humans through biting, scratching and even licking, depending on the viral load and human contact – if there is an open wound, for example. Once infected, the mortality is almost 100%. Explaining.
“It’s a tropism virus of the central nervous system, a very serious condition. It starts with symptoms like fever, headache, body aches, but quickly progresses to neurological symptoms like encephalitis and the fatality is very high,” he says.
According to the Minas Gerais State Health Department (SES-MG), the children lived in the same rural community. At least two of them had bat contact. A fourth case is still under investigation – an 11-year-old girl who showed signs has been hospitalized for observation.
Expert Melissa Valentini, an epidemiologist at Grupo Pardini, warns of the dangers posed by animals.
“The health ministry is carrying out some surveillance, including capture of bats, to determine if the rabies virus is spreading to specific areas. As soon as possible.”
The first assessment is based on epidemiological links – based on symptoms, such as headaches or tremors in the bite site, doctors begin to investigate whether the patient has contact with the animal.
“The incubation period can be a few days or months, it depends a lot on where the bite was,” he said. Melissa. There is also a test that detects the presence of the virus. However, if the patient is not rescued quickly, the chances of survival are slim.
“Our population needs to be guided. If an animal you don’t know bites you, seek medical attention. In particular, keep an animal, dog or cat in check. Monitor it. Depending on the location. Bite, animal response, correct protocol determination.” It is important to remember that rabies exists and is present in some situations, mainly in rural areas, and that prevention must begin as soon as possible, “he added.
Dr. Carla recalls that there is a vaccine for this disease, but the doses are only available to those who are most at risk.
“Prevention is primarily carried out by vaccinating domestic animals, vaccinating animals to reduce the risk of infection by the virus and consequently an infection. The second way is to prevent pre-exposure, with the rabies vaccine in people at risk who are in contact. Those who come in contact with wild animals “.
Due to the high mortality of the disease, he said, the number of cases of Minas Gerais is expected. “In this age group, the condition is expected to be more severe, even if there are probably more severe viral loads with bats, wild animals.”
Is there a risk of an outbreak? Michelle does not believe. “Every time there is a viral infection in the animal environment that can infect humans, if the virus spreads to wild animals, the infection will occur at some point.”
“The Ministry of Health and the Secretariat monitor these animals, vaccinate them and if there is a high risk they vaccinate this population. Strengthen the vaccination of dogs and cats, which are already part of our daily lives. “