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  1. MARY GRACE O. LEOPARDAS, MD,FPAFP Department of Health-CHD 13
  2. Background • COVID-19 is the name of the “novel coronavirus” disease • SARS-CoV-2 is the name of the virus that causes COVID-19 • Coronaviruses cause mild respiratory illnesses, such as the common cold o Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) o Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) • COVID-19 is a new coronavirus disease • Emerged from Hubei Province, China in December 2019
  3. What You Need to Know about Variants  Viruses constantly change through mutation  new variants of a virus are expected to occur
  4. Genomic Biosurveillance Analysis of the genetic code of a virus:  Done through whole genome sequencing (WGS)  Monitors the mutations the virus acquires and how these mutations affect its behaviour  Mutations give rise to different variants
  5. Genomic Biosurveillance in the Philippines University of the Philippines - Philippine Genome Center (UP-PGC)
  6. Working Together on Biosurveillance  IATF-MEID Task Force COVID-19 Variants  DOH TAG members
  7. What You Need to Know about Variants World Health Organization - has assigned simple, easy to say and remember labels for key variants of SARS-CoV-2 - using letters of the Greek alphabet.
  8. Variant of Concern (VOC) global public health significance:  Increased transmissibility  Increased virulence or severity  Increased hospitalization or death
  9. Delta Variant (B.1.617.2)  Has spread in at least 98 countries  Highly transmissible – Approximately 40-60% more transmissible than the Alpha variant (B.1.1.7)  Associated with increased hospitalization  New COVID-19 cases reached a record high of 54,517 last July 14  Up more than tenfold on the number of cases at the start of June
  10. Is Delta variant more contagious?
  11. Reproductive Number A PATIENT WITH THE DELTA VARIANT CAN INFECT UP TO 8 PEOPLE -compared to the original “A” strain (1-2 people)
  12. Are vaccines still effective? Yes!
  13. Do COVID-19 vaccinations offer protection against the Delta variant? Two jabs of the approved vaccines have been shown to provide excellent protection from severe disease and hospitalization against the Delta variant as well as against other variants of concern
  14. Will there be changes in the interventions we have now? our strategies are the SAME
  15. ■ Let us avoid unnecessary travels and social gatherings that can be done online. ■ Let us also limit the number of visitors in our homes. ■ Let us not compromise our safety and the safety of our family.
  16. SHARE RESPONSIBLY - We are all responsible for the kind of information we create and share with our peers and loved ones.

Notes de l'éditeur

  1. As a virus changes over time. As it replicates, its genes undergo random “copying errors” (i.e. genetic mutations)
  2. Do we have Genome Center here in the Philippines? YES, we do.
  3. And there’s a TEAM who works together on this biosurveillance DOH Epidemiology Bureau Phil Genome Center National Institute of Health UP Manila 5. COVID-19 Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases 6. DOH Technical Advisory Group
  4. These labels do not replace existing scientific names
  5. scientific names using those assigned by Nextstrain and Pango lineage, which convey important scientific information and will continue to be used in research. While they have their advantages, these scientific names can be difficult to say and recall, and are prone to misreporting
  6. VOC has global public health significance: Because of its Increased transmissibility Increased virulence or severity Which leads to increased hospitalization or death
  7. In Australia, reports of “fleeting” or just 5 to 10 seconds of contact with a Delta variant case is said to be enough to transmit it
  8. Despite the increase in cases Two jabs/doses of the approved vaccines have been shown to provide excellent protection from severe disease and hospitalization against the Delta variant as well as against other variants of concern
  9. While our strategies are the same, we need to intensify our implementation and adherence to our public health protocols - the minimum public health standards, order control measures, and quarantine, testing and contact tracing protocols. We must also ensure we have adequate health systems capacity to respond to cases Since many Filipinos are still not vaccinated, the government is proactively implementing stricter measures to prevent a devastating situation that has plagued our neighboring countries these past months. If we fail to stop the spread of the Delta variant through early action, we could see our healthcare system potentially collapsing - due to a catastrophic increase in those needing hospitalization, especially among the unvaccinated high-risk groups like the senior citizens and persons with underlying comorbidities. ○ Let us take the experiences of other countries around the world as a warning. If we don’t act together and act fast, the Philippines can be in the same devastating situation.
  10. We need to be more aware and consistent in doing the preventive measures we have right now. They work!
  11. We need to combat misinformation and disinformation. Stay informed, get and share information only from reputable sources and organizations.
  12. Fully vaccinated people with Delta variant breakthrough infections can spread the virus to others. However, vaccinated people appear to be infectious for a shorter period:  Previous variants typically produced less virus in the body of infected fully vaccinated people (breakthrough infections) than in unvaccinated people. In contrast, the Delta variant seems to produce the same high amount of virus in both unvaccinated and fully vaccinated people. However, like other variants, the amount of virus produced by Delta breakthrough infections in fully vaccinated people also goes down faster than infections in unvaccinated people. This means fully vaccinated people are likely infectious for less time than unvaccinated people.