Because in Italy the new outbreaks do not explode like in March

The data released by the Civil Protection on the circulation of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 in Italy are very encouraging compared to the past months, bringing out one epidemiological curve tending to decline. On the basis of the latest bulletin published on Sunday 5 July, a total of 14,642 were registered positive (74 in intensive care, 945 hospitalized with symptoms and 13,623 in home isolation) and 7 deaths; they are significantly lower numbers than those of the most critical period of the pandemic, which in our country has determined a total of 241,419 infected and 34,861 victims (in the world there are almost 11.5 million infected and 534,460 deaths). Despite the positive figures, several are emerging in different Italian regions outbreaks, some of which are quite robust in numerical terms, such as the one in Rome at the San Raffaele Pisana Hospitalization and Care Center – with 120 infections and five victims – and the one in Bologna in the BRT logistics center (ex Bartolini), with 117 infected . But fortunately the new outbreaks are not “exploding” like those of March: how is it possible? We asked the professor Pier Luigi Lopalco, epidemiologist, professor of Hygiene and Preventive Medicine at the University of Pisa and scientific coordinator of the task force of the Puglia Region for the emergency COVID-19 (the infection caused by the pathogen that emerged in China). Here’s what he replied

Professor Lopalco, why don’t the new outbreaks that are emerging in Italy explode like those of March?

It is a fairly simple rule. An outbreak explodes if it is not controlled. That is, in order for an explosion to occur, or a sudden increase in cases, a certain base of infections must accumulate over time. What we are observing at the moment are imported cases, which at the most generate few secondary cases because they are precisely controlled. I give an example: the large outbreak at the logistics agency in Emilia Romagna has developed with numerous infections because it was not precisely identified in the first cases. If they had been spotted immediately, they would have limited themselves there. It really depends on how long the virus is left free to run. The explosion we saw in March was the result of uncontrolled circulation of the virus for months.

Outbreaks like the current ones but in the fall / winter could they explode thanks to the cold? Or is it always a question of control?

Both. I believe it is a combination of situations. The environmental one favors the spread of the virus, so it is clear that more forces will be needed in the autumn. It’s all there, to be able to clearly control everything that can be generated.

What are the outbreaks that worry you most?

It is clear that the outbreaks of concern are those that affect situations in which we have potential fragile patients. What we need to avoid is that the virus enters welfare situations. It takes maximum attention, because objectively if the virus enters a community of young and healthy people it is obvious that the damage in terms of public health impact is much lower.

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