Possible side effects: Are other infections threatened after Corona?

Updated 22 November 2020, 8:38 am.

  • The current corona measures not only protect against SARS-COV-2.
  • They also reduce the spread of other infectious diseases such as flu.
  • A simulation now shows that humans may be more susceptible to other infectious diseases after the corona rules are no longer applicable.

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The current Hygiene and distance rules Not only lower that Distribution of COVID-19But also those of others Infectious diseases Such as flu and colds.

After a Simulation study US. It. Researchers warn now, temporarily Decreased contact with other pathogens After the lifting of the corona measures may lead to men More prone to such infections Would.

Independent German experts emphasize that the work contains Lots of speculation And should not be misinterpreted.

Historically low in influenza

The usual in many countries Corona measures How to keep your distance and wear masks, proved to protect against COVID-19, writes the epidemiologist’s team Rachel Baker Of Princeton University (US State of New Jersey) in the “proceedings” of the US. It. National Academy of Sciences (“Pnas”).

This also applies to other infectious diseases. “A decline in the number of cases of some respiratory pathogens has recently been observed in many locations around the world.”

Early in October – after the end of winter in the southern hemisphere – researchers in the journal The Lancet learned about one. All-time low in influenza Reported in Australia and New Zealand. As an explanation for the phenomenon, they also referred to the corona measures such as keeping your distance, Mouth and nose protection and school closures.

The vulnerability of the population may increase later

Becker’s team assumes that such measures and the Decreased contact with pathogens Later increase the susceptibility of the population to various infections.

Using various models, the researchers simulated as the Elimination of the corona measures May affect two seasonal pathogens: Flu viruses Of the type influenza A (IAV) and the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), the Respiratory diseases especially in young children Triggers.

According to her estimate, the number of RSV transmissions has decreased in the USA since the introduction of the corona measures With about 20 percent.

On this basis, the authors calculate that even short-term measures will be delayed Increase in RSV infections Could lead. In the simulation for the USA and Mexico would then In winter 2021/22 Most RSV cases arise.

About seasonal outbreak of Influenza a Came the team too Similar results. However, the authors themselves admit that forecasts are too Flood waves Mainly due to the Diversity of the viruses And the different effectiveness of existing vaccines are problematic.

Are the statements of this study speculative?

This is actually a Weak point of the studySays also the virologist Gülsah Gabriel From the Heinrich Pette Institute in Hamburg, which was not involved in the study. “Influenza A viruses are Changeable and adaptable. The virus evolution is a Dynamic processWhich can not be modeled. “

Also the infectious disease specialist Burned Salzberger Regensburg University Hospital opposes such dynamics in mathematical models: “It could lead to a Excessive influenza wave Come, but also the opposite will happen, “says the President of the German Society for Infectious Diseases (DGI) Statements from this study are speculative.

Have enough influenza vaccinations ready

“If we kept all viruses away from us for three years, that would be safe Problematic for our immune systemSalzburg emphasizes. However, most people would not wear a mask all the time, only for a short time. Abstinence from pathogens Also be therefore Unrealistic, Because Various vaccines against SARS-COV-2 Are already well developed.

The virologist Gabriel warns specifically against using the study results as an argument Against the corona measures Misinterpretation – for example against wearing mouth and nose protection.

This is particularly important at the moment, including this Risk of co-infection To lower. If you are infected with influenza viruses and another pathogen, they would fall Combination much more serious Out.

In addition, should above all Risk groups Get vaccinated against influenza. It is therefore important in the coming winters Adequate influenza vaccinations To have ready. (ff / dpa)

Keep your distance, wash your hands, use your mask correctly – hygiene is the best tool in the corona crisis. It can also protect us from cold and flu viruses. What rules are part of everyday life and for what symptoms you should rather stay at home.

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