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Delta Variant Forces Guangdong to Expand Who Counts as a "Close Contact"
Published on: 2021-06-29
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In discussing the experience of dealing with the more infectious Delta variant of the coronavirus, China's top epidemiologist Zhong Nanshan noted that expanding the scope of the search for "close contacts" and conducting surveillance of animals in closed-off areas, among other measures, are effective in curbing the infection.
 

The highly contagious Delta variant forced South China's Guangdong Province, the first Chinese province to deal with it, to change its definition of "close contacts" and come up with new strategies to cope with the variant, according to Zhong.
 

The new definition of close contact was expanded to those who were in the same building as the patient or in the same workplace for the four days before the patient showed the onset of symptoms, Zhong said.
 

Zhong said that researchers also collected the nucleic acid samples of animals, such as rats, in closed and controlled areas, to exclude the possibility of the virus being transmitted by animals through excreta.
 

According to the epidemiologist, the new variant is not only more contagious than previous ones, but also has a shorter incubation period and longer time to turn negative in testing.
 

The incubation period of the Delta variant is one to three days, while the average incubation period of the COVID-19 virus in last year's surge in Wuhan was three to seven days, Zhong said.
 

People infected with the Delta strain in Guangzhou took 13 to 15 days to test negative, much longer than the common strain of seven to nine days, Zhong pointed out.
 

重新定义密切接触者概念?变种病毒怎样对付?

中国工程院院士、国家呼吸系统疾病临床医学研究中心主任钟南山院士表示,此次广州在疫情应对方面,通过迅速锁定感染源,精准查清传播链,更新“密接”概念等科学应对举措,在我国应对德尔塔(Delta)变种病毒社区感染的第一阶段战“疫”中,取得了阶段性的成果。
 

第一,很快锁定了传染源,查清传播链在广州做得很快,5月21日,因为省区地市也都接到报告,当天下午就锁定了传染源。随后高质量流行病学的调查,流行病学调查很及时,差不多就是150多个病人,全都做基因检测,这个是其他地方没做到的,差不多每一个基因检测以后,发现都是一个阿婆(传)过来的,就搞清楚了,传播链非常明确。能够使我们对疾病的整个来龙去脉、发展趋势,以及应该怎样管控,给我们提供了一个非常清晰的数据支撑。
 

第二,对应德尔塔(Delta)毒株,我们以前讲密切接触者,这个概念要改变了。因为德尔塔(Delta)毒株载量高,呼出来的气体毒性大,传染性很强。过去的提法,什么叫密切接触者,发病前两天跟病人的家人,家里的人还有同一个办公室的,或者一米之内有共同吃饭、开会等等,这叫密切接触者。但现在密接者这个概念要改变,在同一个空间、同一个单位、同一座建筑、同一栋楼,发病前四天,跟这些病人相处的都是密切接触者。正因为有这个概念的改变,所以才会采用一些不同的管理模式,密封、封控、封禁等等。
 

所以这个概念的改变是对我们重点密集人群的管控。广东非常严格,尽可能严防向省外溢出,所以为了减少人员流动带来的疫情传播风险,特别是预防传出省内的其他地方,以及传出省,5月31日,发病的时间,6月2日在广州、佛山等等防控指挥部都发出了通报,要求离粤、离穗、离佛都要凭健康码绿码,有72小时的核酸检测阴性证明;到6月7日加码了,进一步缩短离开广州、佛山需要48小时的核酸阴性证明。所以到6月24日为止,到现在我们没有传到省外。
 

对于目前大家担心的“德尔塔(Delta)变种病毒潜伏期是否更长,入境人员是否应增加隔离时间、加强隔离管理”问题,钟南山院士还表示,并不需要。
 

钟南山:我不认为还要再增加。因为一般来说绝大多数的潜伏期并不长,有极少数的潜伏期长,再增加隔离观察的话,那是弊大于利。我们应该加强对这些人员在隔离时间内的核酸检测,加强对频度的检测,我觉得这是有效的办法。

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