New Delhi, Feb 14: A while ago, a group of general physicians in the UK claimed that common cold symptoms should not be taken for granted, instead treated as a sign of coronavirus. But there is a divergent view, the President of AIIMS, Bhopal and Jammu, Y.K. Gupta told IANS that cough, fever and common cold cannot be 100 per cent termed as signs of coronavirus.
Reportedly, 140 east London general practitioners (GPs) and health care professionals had written and signed an open letter to chief medical officer Chris Whitty and Susan Hopkins of Public Health England, claiming that patients usually experience typical symptoms of common cold like sore throat, a runny nose and headaches before testing positive for coronavirus. Gupta, who was former Dean (Academics), and ex-Head, Department of Pharmacology, AIIMS New Delhi, said: "Common cold cannot be 100 per cent sign of coronavirus. Most common cold viral infections are on decline, but that does not mean that people should drop their guard. It is essential to wear mask and maintain social distancing."
As the spurt of Covid cases begins to taper, Gupta cautioned though there has been a decline in the Covid cases recently, but this does not mean that danger is over. He stressed the factors contributing towards the decline in cases and deaths could be the ongoing vaccination drive and the intrinsic immunity of people in the country. "A large population has already been infected, which sub clinically may contribute to decline. The pathogenicity of this is decreasing maybe", he said.
On the aspect of increasing numbers in western countries and consistent decline in cases in India, Gupta indicated that this is perhaps due to a higher immunity of the Indian population towards the virus than western population, but there is not sufficient data to establish this.
People who got vaccinated after contracting Covid-19 have developed some health issues. Does it have a potential to become a lasting health problem? Gupta replied that it may be a residual health problem and not vaccine residual side-effect, in fact after vaccination allergic reaction does not last for more than two days.
When queried, has he come across any safety issues associated with Covaxin in any particular age group, especially senior citizen, or people with comorbidities so far, Gupta said nothing so far, because data is not fully available and added that data regarding the Phase 3 trial of Covaxin may be available by March end, which would establish its efficacy.