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Article COVID-19: Lessons learned after over a month of pandemic

Key aspects in the control of the disease and mitigate its effects in Spain

April 8th, 2020

Julio Alvarez and Lucas Dominguez, researchers at the VISAVET Health Surveillance Center and faculty at the Veterinary Faculty of the Universidad Complutense coauthor an article on the current COVID-19 crisis, in which they analyze the particularities of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and the current data on disease spread, providing some insights that should be considered in order to control the disease and mitigate its effects.


In this article they conclude that based on the available evidence the disease was probably already circulating in late January-early February, and the degree spread is certainly much higher than what official case counts could suggest, what makes of paramount importance establishing the proportion of the population already exposed in order to inform the next steps in the management of the pandemic. 


The authors state that "now is the time to learn from the mistakes that were made, and to generate information that prevent taking decisions based on false premises", since even though the measures already adopted in Spain and other European countries are successfully containing the spread of the virus, their ability to lead to its eradication in the long term is not as clear. 


The protection of the subpopulations at higher risk, including the health professionals, the design of systems that allow monitoring the situation in terms of disease spread and the generalized use of diagnostic tests are all major points that need to be considered, along with the management of the crisis from a population health perspective, i.e., considering the individual as part of a group, something usual when dealing with animal health crisis but more complex in the case of human health. 


The study of other factors that could impact the epidemiology of the disease is also another point that should be included in the roadmap in the medium and long term, but the most important lesson to be learned from the current situation is to get the knowledge that will help us to be better prepared when we have to deal with the next global health crisis. 


Link to article: COVID-19: Lessons learned after over a month of pandemic (Spanish text)

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VISAVET Health Surveillance Centre
Complutense University