The arrival of tourists in Yucatán could lead to the spread of the EG.5 variant of COVID-19 in the state.
A health specialist has warned of the imminent arrival of the new EG-5 variant of COVID-19, which poses a high risk to individuals over 60 years of age who haven’t been vaccinated, as well as those with respiratory comorbidities. Dr. Carlos Castro Sansores, Director of the Faculty of Medicine at the Autonomous University of Yucatán (UADY), issued this warning.
Dr. Castro Sansores, a member of the Committee of Medical Experts for the State Government’s COVID-19 Pandemic Crisis during the health emergency, added that this mutation, originating from the United States, is spreading rapidly. It is now prevalent in Florida, California, and New York.
However, due to the increased mobility during the summer vacations, it is likely to spread to Mexico and reach Yucatán in a short period of time, if it isn’t already present in the region.
“The most significant issue for the country at this moment is the lack of vaccines. The population must be more careful because the vaccines administered two years ago reduced the impact of COVID and its Omicron variant. However, the virus has mutated, giving rise to a new strain known as EG-5, which is gradually increasing its presence but currently lacks a vaccine or defense mechanism,” he explained.
“At present, health authorities aim to obtain vaccines and continue immunizing the population so that when infections from this variant increase, a defense mechanism will be in place to protect against COVID,” he added.
He also commented that the virus will continue to be among the diseases that persist in the population, as it is here to stay. However, those who have already had it will be able to cope with the new strain.
“Continuous monitoring of studies and tests among infected individuals is necessary to identify the strains affecting the population. This will help determine the extent to which the new variant could impact the people of Yucatán,” he emphasized.
“Currently, the use of face masks is not necessary; hence, it has been mentioned as optional, especially in crowded spaces. Older individuals are at greater risk, and special measures are applied to high-risk population groups, such as those with respiratory and immunological comorbidities,” he concluded.