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Bulgaria to fight fears of COVID-19 with reliable information

Photo: BGNES

Sixty-two percent of Bulgarians are afraid of becoming infected with COVID-19, according to a poll by Gallup International. 58% of people succumb to conspiracy theories, believing that someone intentionally caused the spread of the virus. In order to try to bring fears and chaos among patients into "medical and professional rails", a medical council and a specialized web site have already started functioning in this country.

The task of the newly formed Medical Council at the government is to analyze the recommendations on COVID-19 in countries with the highest prevalence of the disease and to translate them into comprehensible language for doctors in Bulgaria. In this way, each specialist will receive a necessary tool for work, says lung disease specialist Prof. Kosta Kostov, head of the specialized body.

According to him, the fact that there were no medications for neutralizing the infection did not mean that there was no cure: “Claims that the coronavirus could not be treated are not true because doctors around the world treated people even when there were no medications."

"All claims in the net about the harm of antipyretic medications in the presence of coronavirus proved to be quite exaggerated,” Prof. Kosta Kostov says. “In an interview with the BNR, he recommended: “It is good for people who are at home and who suffer from any viral symptoms to use the usual remedies and not to panic – especially the young. However, if symptoms continue on the fourth day, they should see their GP. This is the correct path, in order not everyone with a seasonal infection to rush to hospitals and look for tests. The problem comes when there is serious difficulty in breathing and other symptoms affecting the lungs dry cough, severe fatigue, muscle aches, fever. These are the more prominent symptoms of the disease."

Prof. Kosta Kostov is a supporter of stringent measures to curb coronavirus infection. "In the first month, these measures must be brutally strict. The more strictly the measures are followed, the sooner they would end. If this happened, we might be very lucky to get out of this epidemic easily,"the professor said.

The CoVid-19 website has also been tasked with providing the most up-to-date and reliable information on the spread and attempts to treat coronavirus. In the new media, volunteer translators and medical professionals search and translate the most useful articles on the topic from all around the world. The idea is for doctors to find in the site "that useful piece of information that couldbe helpful in their daily work."

"Currently, science does not have time to go through the usual paths," Nadezhda Tsekulova the initiator of the site's creation, has told BNR. “Doctors need a solution today – they need an option, though it may not the best one, in order to have a tool to work immediately. And this is the reason why most coronavirus articlesare far from the standard criteria for legitimizing a study as medical evidence. For the most part, these articles deal with a small number of cases and their purpose is rather to outline the possibilities that doctors may find useful.So,these are by no means evidence that we, non-specialists, can use to draw general conclusions.”

According to Professor Kosta Kostov, Bulgaria is still at the bottom of the coronavirus curve.

Editor: Diana Tsankova

English: Alexander Markov

Photos: BTA, BGNES and private library

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