Coronavirus has turned health care work upside down. In many countries, medical professionals have focused almost exclusively on combating Covid-19 in the past two years. Have other diseases disappeared as a result? Not. Although, according to Australian scientists, it was noted that the coronavirus contributed to the elimination of one of the viruses.
We divide flu into four categories; A, B, C, D. The first two types tease us seasonally, most often in the fall and winter season. C – is a type much less noticeable by us and causes mild symptoms. Whereas D does not concern humans, it only attacks cattle.
From information published by Australian scientists, we learn that the coronavirus has largely eliminated cases of influenza C infections. It is worth noting that this virus was responsible for up to a quarter of seasonal cases around the world before the Covid-19 pandemic.
Scientists explain this fact with a number of changes that have occurred in recent months. It is about washing hands much more often, wearing masks, maintaining physical distance or working remotely.
The decline in infections was recorded both in the southern hemisphere, in the countries of South America, and in the northern hemisphere. In the 2020-21 season (the beginning of the pandemic), also in Poland, the National Institute of Public Health – National Institute of Hygiene provided information on fewer flu patients than in the past.
The coronavirus has destroyed the virus
From the publication “Nature Reviews Microbiology” we learn that not only has the number of people affected by the group decreased, but also the genetic diversity of influenza viruses has decreased.
What is going on? Scientists submit information about the genome of the isolated and sequenced viruses to the GISAID database. And there the data is unambiguous. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the number of detectable variants of influenza A and influenza B – Victoria has decreased. However, as of March 2020, no Yamagata B-line virus has been reported to GISAID.
Scientists also point out that the lack of data about the virus does not mean that it has completely disappeared, it may have been somehow missed. However, it is an indisputable fact that this virus has become much less common, becoming absent from the statistics.
Dr. Augustynowicz: Flu and COVID-19 vaccines can be administered during one visit
– Flu vaccination protects against complications. They can be administered during the same vaccination visit as other vaccinations, e.g. vaccination against COVID-19 or against pneumococci – said Dr. hab. Ewa Augustynowicz from the National Institute of Public Health of the National Institute of Hygiene.
Under the new legislation, from Tuesday, adults can get flu vaccinations free of charge at existing vaccination sites. They will be performed until March 31, 2022 or while stocks from the Governmental Agency for Strategic Reserves are exhausted.
Dr hab. Ewa Augustynowicz said that every epidemic season there are several million cases of illness and suspected flu and several thousand hospitalizations.
The scientist warned that influenza carries a risk of serious complications, especially for people at risk, including: pregnant women, children up to the end of 5 years of age, people aged 65 and over, and patients with chronic diseases of the respiratory system, cardiovascular system and nervous system, kidney disease, diabetes, cancer, immunodeficiency.
She explained that “the severe course of the flu is associated with the exacerbation of existing chronic diseases or the emergence of a new disease”. She noted that “multi-organ complications from influenza can lead to permanent disability or be fatal”.
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(source: Fakt, PAP)