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What is the new coronavirus symptom in Argentina and why could it cause a collapse in medical guards?

» ProSalud

Rhinitis or nasal congestion affects between 400 and 600 million people in the world, it is much more common with changes in season and can be present all year round. The Ministry of Health included this condition within the definition of a suspected case of COVID-19.

The Ministry of Health of the Nation has just announced that the symptoms of rhinitis/nasal congestion are added to the definition of a suspected case of coronavirus, since “these are increasingly frequent symptoms” and explained that the update of the definition was agreed upon with the 24 directors of Epidemiology from all jurisdictions in the country.

According to the health ministry, rhinitis/nasal congestion was added to the symptoms previously described. When COVID-19 is suspected, compliance with isolation measures is key to reducing the transmission of the virus.

“From now on, any person, of any age, who presents two or more of the following symptoms is considered a suspected case of COVID-19: fever of 37.5°C or higher; cough; sore throat; difficulty breathing; headache; Muscle pain; diarrhea and/or vomiting; rhinitis/nasal congestion. In addition to the sudden loss of taste or smell.”

In this framework, the Ministry of Health recalled that “if a person is considered a suspected case of COVID-19, they must be isolated until the suspicion is confirmed or ruled out; notify people with whom you have had contact since 48 hours before the onset of symptoms - since they must also isolate themselves; and communicate with the health system in your jurisdiction.”

If SARS-CoV-2 infection is ruled out, the person may suspend isolation, but if the diagnosis is confirmed, they must maintain isolation until they are discharged and follow all the recommendations of the health team, they stated.

“Compliance with isolation measures in the event of suspicion of COVID-19 is essential to contribute to reducing the transmission of the virus in a context of high circulation of the virus throughout the country,” highlighted Salud.

As Dr. Stella Maris Cuevas (MN 81701), an otorhinolaryngologist, expert in smell, allergist and former president of the Association of Otorhinolaryngology of the City of Buenos Aires (AOCBA), recently explained to Infobae, “although this condition is suffered by between 400 and 600 million people in the world is much more frequent with the changes of season, it can be present all year round”, and for this reason it could cause a large number of people to go to medical wards if they suspect they have coronavirus. “Anyone who is congested, who has a bit of obstruction or a stuffy, swollen nose, due to fear of COVID, will attend an on-call, which could generate an excess of consultations that fatigue the system. To give an example, in Argentina, out of every 10 people, 2 are allergic, while in the United States allergic rhinitis is the most common chronic disease,” she specified, consulted by this medium.

According to Cuevas: “The most important thing is that people who have rhinitis or nasal congestion try to make a video consultation or video call, or communicate with their doctor by phone, not to go out or go to the emergency room since it is very possible that they will be exposed to patients who have very similar symptoms and become infected. In any case, you should not underestimate the symptoms and it is always best to consult.”

In this context, he warned that "ventilation of environments becomes doubly essential: we must always think that greater comfort (use of heating) is sometimes at odds with prevention measures."

Allergic people usually have a genetic burden: it is common to detect a history of parents and siblings with allergies. The condition is inherited in 100% of cases and, if we add to this the environmental conditions and the presence of allergens (foreign substances that the immune system does not recognize), we understand the exaggerated response of the body with symptoms that, with the time, they come to compromise the patient's quality of life. It is very important to keep in mind that this is a condition and not an infection (it is not caused by viruses or bacteria).

Although it is much more common with seasonal changes (autumn and spring), allergic rhinitis can be present all year round. Indoor allergens are the protagonists: mites present in house dust are the most common.

Mites are arthropods that reproduce in hot, dark and humid places. For them, the ideal place is the bed, where they feed on skin scales. It is very difficult to eliminate them, and they usually cause symptoms with movement when waking up and getting up from bed. It only takes 10 mites in a gram of dust to sensitize and 100 mites in a gram of dust to trigger an allergic crisis.

Fever of 37.5°C or higher; cough; sore throat; difficulty breathing; headache; Muscle pain; diarrhea and/or vomiting; rhinitis/nasal congestion and/or sudden loss of taste or smell, symptoms of a suspected case of COVID-19
Other allergens present at home are fungal spores in humid places. They are in the air and come, for example, from kitchen pipes, carpets, doormats, stuffed animals, wallpaper and upholstery; These are all places that should be given close attention.

Pets also have allergens between their skin and hair and in their saliva, and in the case of cats, the antigenic power of urine found in the air can trigger an crisis.

According to the World Health Organization, between 400 and 600 million people suffer from allergic rhinitis worldwide. The organization warned that, by 2050, half of the world's population will be allergic.

Although this disease is not fatal, its biggest problem lies in how it affects the quality of life of people who suffer from it. These days, if we add to this the fear of confusing the symptoms with those of COVID-19, the outlook for this population is truly devastating.

Allergic rhinitis is usually accompanied by other symptoms. In addition to the inflammation of the nasal mucosa, other comorbidities are added, such as serous otitis media (with the presence of mucus in the middle ear), laryngitis (which causes a dry cough), permanent throat clearing and the need to clear the voice, and chronic rhinosinusitis, which It can be accompanied by the presence of polyps and also manifests itself with nasal obstruction, headache and hyposmia (decreased sense of smell).

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Jorge Camargo
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