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The Kovid-19 pandemic has slowed in many parts of the world, and with it many social restrictions imposed to curb its spread because people wanted to return to pre-blockade life.
But instead, a number of viruses have emerged that behave in new and unique ways.
Get the seasonal flu, commonly known as the flu. The U.S. winter flu season of 2020 and 2021 was the lightest in terms of deaths and hospitalizations. As the Kovid restrictions were lifted, the cases escalated in February and escalated into spring and summer.
“We’ve never seen the flu season in the United States last until June,” he said. Scott Roberts, assistant medical director for infection prevention at Yale School of Medicine, told CNBC on Tuesday.
“It’s clear that Covid has had a huge impact. Now that people are unmasking and opening up, we’re seeing viruses behaving in a way that’s more strange than ever,” he said.
And the flow is just the beginning.
The respiratory syncytial virus, a common cold-like virus that develops during the winter months, intensified last summer and spread to children in Europe, the United States and Japan. Then, in January of this year, adenovirus 41, which is usually responsible for gastrointestinal diseases, became an obvious cause of mysterious and severe liver disease among young children.
Elsewhere, Washington is experiencing the worst TB increase in 20 years.
And now, chicken pox, a rare viral infection commonly found in Central and West Africa, has surprised health professionals with more than 1,000 confirmed and suspected cases occurring in 29 non-endemic countries.
Viruses behave badly
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last week that at least two genetically different variants of monkeys are now prevalent in the United States, which could be caused by two different infections from animals to humans.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said early last week that the virus, which has symptoms of fever and skin ulcers, may go unnoticed in society for “months or years.”
A portion of the skin tissue from a monkey’s smallpox-infected monkey’s skin appears to have grown 50X in 1968, the fourth day that rashes appeared.
CDC | Reuters
“The two strains probably show that this is going on longer than we thought. We’re in a dangerous time right now,” Roberts said. He noted that the coming weeks will show the course of the virus, which has an incubation period of 5 to 21 days.
It is not yet known whether the smallpox virus has mutated, but health experts have observed its behavior in new and unusual ways. Most importantly, it is spread in the community — usually through sexual intercourse — by traveling to places where it is commonly found. Symptoms also appear in new ways.
“Patients treat us differently than we’ve been taught,” Roberts said, noting that some infected patients skip the first signs of the flu and immediately develop rashes and sores, especially on the genitals and anus.
“There are a lot of unknowns that worry me. We see very atypical behavior for a number of viruses,” he said.
Restrictions reduce exposure and immunity
Of course, one explanation is that in the last two years, the restrictions imposed by Covid and the wearing of masks have given little chance for the simultaneous spread of other infectious diseases.
Where viruses have passed, public health surveillance is largely pandemic, so they often go unnoticed.
According to local health officials, this was indeed the case during the TB epidemic in Washington, D.C., which allowed the parallelism between the two diseases to go undiagnosed.
Now that pandemic restrictions have eased and common habits have been generalized, retreating viruses have found a fertile breeding ground for new social and travel-hungry visitors.
Last month, the WHO’s chief adviser said that smallpox in monkeys was caused by at least two mass events in Europe.
At the same time, the two-year reduced impact has reduced individual immunity to disease and made society as a whole vulnerable. This is especially true for young children who have missed the opportunity to receive antibodies against common viruses in their mother’s womb or in the early years of society through the community – usually for microbial enhancers.
He missed his childhood vaccinations
Health experts studying the possible links between Covid’s limitations say this could lead to an increase in the incidence of acute hepatitis in children.
“We are also investigating whether the Covid-19 pandemic could play a role in increased susceptibility to reduced exposure,” the UK’s health agency said in April.
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also expressed concern that barriers could lead to many children being vaccinated in childhood, which increases the risk of other diseases that can be prevented with vaccines such as measles and whooping cough.
Jennifer Horney, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Delaware, told CNBC: “Access to first aid, including vaccinations, was unavailable to many children during the Coved pandemic.”
“Immunization campaigns are needed globally to prevent the spread of these diseases,” he added.
That said, there is now more awareness and control over public health issues after a pandemic, which makes the diagnosis of some epidemics more common.
“Covid has raised the profile of public health issues, so we’re paying more attention to these cases,” said Horney, adding that the public health systems set up to identify Covid have helped identify other diseases.
Professor Eyal Leshem, an infectious disease specialist at Sheba Medical Center, agreed: “The general public and the media have become more interested in the zoonotic epidemic and infectious diseases.”
However, he was also warned of the role of “surveillance”, in which individuals and health professionals report more cases of the disease because they have more prevention. This suggests that some viruses, such as monkeys, may actually appear to be growing if they were previously reported less.
“It’s not when the disease is widespread, but it’s getting more attention,” Leshem said.
However, intensified monitoring of infectious diseases is not bad, he said. As infectious diseases spread and mutations increase, as Covid-19 shows, the better the understanding and understanding of the changing nature of diseases.
“The focus of the public and the media will help governments and international organizations focus more resources on controlling and protecting future pandemics,” Leshem said, highlighting research, observation and intervention as three key areas.
“These investments need to be global in order to prevent and mitigate the next pandemic,” he said.