Covid and health risks: Brigitte Autran at the head of the heir to the Scientific Council

It is now official. The immunologist Brigitte Autran will chair the new “Committee for monitoring and anticipating health risks”, announced this Wednesday a decree in the “Official Journal”. This committee succeeds the Scientific Council created in 2020 to guide the action of the French government in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic and which ceased to exist with the lifting of the state of health emergency at the end of July.

The new structure, which will be operational from the start of the school year, will be made up of 16 scientists, a representative of the citizens and one of the patients. Its mission will be to keep a watch on all health risks, with particular attention to environmental pollutants and the consequences of global warming as well as interactions between animals and humans. This global vision, called “global health”, is increasingly defended by a number of public health specialists.

Covid: the risk of a new peak

“Diseases can be transmitted from animals to humans, or vice versa, or even come back boomerang from one to another”, details Brigitte Autran in an interview given to “Parisien” on the occasion. of his appointment. “We have known this for a long time but without fully taking the measure”, and “today, public policies must take this fact into account”, underlines the professor emeritus of immunology, recognized in particular for her research on AIDS.

Speaking on various current health topics, Brigitte Autran warns that the Covid epidemic is not over and risks experiencing a new peak at the start of the school year after the current low. She points to the “levers” that remain to be activated to avoid new deaths: “There are still too many people who are not vaccinated or not revaccinated (…) Effective treatments to avoid serious forms, such as Paxlovid, are too few offered to fragile patients,” she regrets.

But it differentiates the fight against Covid, in which it seems illusory to completely eliminate the circulation of the virus, from that against monkey pox, or “monkeypox”. “A “zero Monkeypox” strategy is possible, unlike that of “zero Covid +”, she assures, calling for the acceleration of vaccination campaigns. “By its nature, its routes of transmission, it is a virus that can be controlled. »

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