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The latest recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) to fight against the coronavirus and prevent spread of the COVID-19 continue to emphasize “the great importance of the hygiene frequent hand and the cleaning and disinfection of the environment”. The agency impinges “on the relevance of maintaining the distances and avoid close contact and without protection with people with fever or respiratory symptoms”. In accordance with these guidelines, we do not recommend the use of a mask for the general population: it is appropriate to be that health-care personnel wear masks of type FP2 AND FP3, along with goggles and protective suits, for not to be infected, while any individual may use surgical masks , not to not to be infected but not infect other .

George Gao , director-general of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of China, is in charge of 2,000 employees and has been involved in some of the earliest and most important studies on the SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing the COVID-19: has participated in the isolation and identification of the virus and the first studies that detailed the epidemiology of the disease, as well as several articles in “The Lancet”. He recently granted an interview to “” where this expert in virology and immunology, doctor of the University of Oxford and also trained at Harvard University, reflected on the lessons that the epidemic of the coronavirus has left in China. On the basis of these teachings, he has warned of the “great error” being committed in Europe and the united States .

“In my opinion, the great error is that people do not is putting the face masks ,” said Gao in an interview that has taken him two months to get to “Science”. “This virus is transmitted by droplets and through close contact. That’s why you have to wear a mask, because when you talk you always leave drops of your mouth. is a Lot of people have asymptomatic infections or presintomáticas . If they wear masks, can prevent the drops charged for viruses to escape and infect others,” he detailed.

just Yesterday, Austria joined the small club of european countries, among which is Czech Republic, and Bosnia-Herzegovina, which will make mandatory the use of masks in public spaces.

The most important teaching

in Addition to that, in the opinion of George Gao the teaching more relevant learned in this epidemic is the importance of ” to isolate all cases and quarantine of close contacts “. Suspend the congregations public and the blockade of the cities are also indispensable. In fact, a recently published study in “Science” indicated the importance of implementing these measures since the appearance of the scatter community to disease, thing that happened in Spain at least since the 28 of February.

This investigator has shown to be skeptical in relation to the idea that the expansion of the virus will slow down with the heat of the summer and has pointed to the need for more scientific studies to work on this issue: “Many people think that the virus is fragile and particularly sensitive to temperature or humidity. But, thanks to studies done in China and the united States, it seems that it is very resistant on some surfaces, and that I could survive in many media”.

The mysterious origin of the epidemic

The researcher has recognized that it is still not known for sure what is the origin of the virus and has denied that the chinese authorities tardasen in sharing the sequence of the virus, even though the first sequence was obtained the 5 of January but it was not until day 8 until it was made public.

“I Think the time that passed between the appearance of the article -with the sequence – and the time in which it was reported to the WHO was a few hours . Since then not more than a day.” The insistirle the journalist, Gao has said that it was not until the health authorities to make the announcement: “you don’t want the public to panic, isn’t it? And no one in any country could have predicted that the virus would cause a pandemic. This is the first pandemic is not flu”.

“Anyone in any country could have predicted that the virus would cause a pandemic”

In this sense, he explained why it was not until January 20, when health authorities and the chinese reported the transmission of person-to-person viruses. “There was No data epidemiológiocos yet. And we were facing a virus crazy and hidden from the beginning. The same is valid for Italy, anywhere else in Europe and the united States: at the beginning, the scientists and all the world thought: “well, there is more than a virus””.

“at The beginning, the scientists and all the world thought: “well, there is more than a virus””

George Gao has confirmed that at present China almost only registering imported cases and that you can’t rely on herd immunity to stop a future epidemic: the authorities are trying to win time to get antivirals and vaccines . With regard to the latter, has said that in April and should have got first results about a treatment based on remdesivir.

finally, has contradicted Donald Trump, president of the united States, who began to appoint the SARS-CoV-2 as the “virus chinese”: “Definitely, it is not good to call it virus chinese. The virus belongs to the Earth. It is our common enemy, not the enemy of any person or country.”