“Right now you cannot think of a next pandemic caused by something that is transmitted through water or food, because it would be a local epidemic, however another one can come back to us through the air.” This is the reflection of Margarita del Val, a researcher at the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC), on how the next health crisis will come after the coronavirus.
The virologist explained in a presentation at the I International Summit on Pandemic Management organized by the Valencia Local Police that Covid-19 has shown that the transmission mechanism is through the air and that, therefore, "we must learn to clean it ».
For Del Val, clean air should be an enforceable right.
“I don't have to filter my air when I have to breathe it just like I don't filter my water when I have to drink it. If I don't share my glass with everyone in a restaurant, I also don't have to share my air with everyone in a closed room," she explained.
Regarding the lessons learned in the past, Margarita del Val pointed out that "in the 19th century, it was learned with the cholera epidemics that drinking water must be perfectly separated from wastewater and that by making water drinkable, deaths are avoided and It has increased life expectancy.
"There are more and more intelligent buildings focused on saving energy, but less and less healthy for the transmission of respiratory diseases," he replied.
On the other hand, the renowned virologist also reviewed the current situation in relation to the control of the coronavirus pandemic, of which she highlighted the perception of being in a "difficult time" due to the "lack of data" and "because we do not know what is going to happen ».
Given this situation, he predicted that with the arrival of autumn and winter, especially in view of the upcoming Christmas holidays, "with our usual behavior, we will get more of all respiratory diseases, including Covid."
For this reason, she was in favor of administering a fourth generalized dose if necessary, but only with a new vaccine that protects against the latest variants such as Omicron, such as those that the European Medicines Agency is evaluating during the first months of this year.
In another order, regarding the situation in China, he commented that they applied a "very successful" strategy in the first year of controlling the pandemic that has led them to have many fewer deaths and "less social, health and economic impact." However, "it cannot be maintained forever" and once there are vaccines, a strategy of complete vaccination of the population must give way.
"The problem in China is that about 40 percent of the population over 80 years of age has not been vaccinated. You cannot try to control the situation of the unimmunized with isolation and covid-zero measures, which are very effective and those that must be taken if there is another pandemic, but now the best thing is full vaccination, "he defended.