The common cold and flu season begins in most countries of the world in mid-December, but this year, as the COVID-19 epidemic spreads rapidly, the rate of various seasonal illnesses is surprisingly low.
Precautionary measures such as temporary lockdown, use of face masks, social distance, personal hygiene are being implemented.
In different countries during the outbreak of Coronavirus and as a result, the rates of other respiratory diseases have been significantly affected.
Humans have long been exposed to the common cold and flu, but little is known about the viruses that cause it.
That’s why scientists expect this year’s trends to provide new details about the spread and attitudes of these uninvited guests.
According to Sonja Olson, an epidemiologist at the National Center for Immunization and Receptive Diseases at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “this would be a natural study for a number of respiratory viruses.”
Decreased flu rate
In May of this year, when the first wave of COVID-19 was declining in several countries and severe lockdowns were imposed in most places, medical staff realized that the flu season was ahead of time in most countries of the world. Stopped
Part of the reason for this was that very few people came with flu complaints, but the main reason was the effectiveness of social distances, such as the policies adopted to prevent corona.
Since the onset of the coronavirus outbreak, the rate of positive flu virus tests in the United States has dropped by 98 percent, while the rate of sample submission has dropped by 61 percent.
When winter began in the southern hemisphere, there was a dramatic drop in flu cases between April and July 2020, although the number of cases of COVID-19 continued to rise.
Only 51 cases of the flu were confirmed in more than 83,000 tests in Australia, Chile and South Africa.
According to Sonja Olson, “We know that the spread of these viruses is lower than that of the coronavirus, so it is understandable.”
However, the decline in seasonal illness cases was much higher than expected, although COVID precautions have a hand in this, it is not a complete picture.
According to virologist Richard Webb, “some South American countries didn’t do much to control COVID-19, but even there the flu rate remained low.
I don’t think it was just wearing a face mask and social distance.” He thinks the lack of international travel could also be a factor.
The flu is usually more active in certain months of the year, with little or no precautions being taken throughout the year, but the movement of people contributes to its spread.
Most experts have cautiously predicted that the flu season will not be high in the northern hemisphere this year, and this is good news in many ways.
In particular, it will reduce the burden on the medical system of different countries.
But it also has some disadvantages, such as the fact that if the flu season does not end this year, it will be difficult for the 2021 flu vaccine to predict the exact type of virus.
Experts believe that the absence of flu season could eliminate some of the lesser-known forms of the virus and simplify the scenario for us.
But at the same time, he believes that the lack of viral competition could lead to new forms of swine flu in the future.
Flu cases alone have not diminished
The incidence of influenza viruses has not diminished in response to the coronavirus, in fact, the incidence of hundreds of viruses that adversely affect the respiratory system, such as the common cold and others, has also dropped significantly in the southern hemisphere.
Researchers have also found a decrease in the rate of a common virus called RSV, which infects children and often causes serious illnesses such as pneumonia.
There is no vaccine against RSV and it kills 5% of children under the age of 5 worldwide.
But this winter, Australia has seen a 98 percent drop in the number of cases of infected children and a 99 percent drop in the number of flu cases, even though schools were open.
Outbreaks appear to be exacerbated during pregnancy and in children. Rheumatoid arthritis is a common cause of the common cold, especially in children.
There are hundreds of strains of the virus and there are usually dozens of strains in a community.
A study in the UK found that the number of cases of the virus in adults declined slightly in the summer of 2020, but increased after school reopened in September.
The good news is that the common cold can give people some protection against COVID-19.
A study of more than 800,000 people each found that adults who showed flu symptoms last year had lower rates of cod, but why this is the case is still a mystery.
Not much is known about these viruses yet, and most experts say people should be prepared for the worst.