Japan intends to classify Corona as flu, when will it be? And why are we seeing an increase in respiratory infections with viruses other than Corona these days?
The Japanese government intends to reclassify the Corona virus in the same category as common infectious diseases such as seasonal flu on May 8, according to government sources today, Thursday.
And the Japanese agency “Kyodo” said that the government intends to take a decision tomorrow, Friday, regarding the reduction of the classification of the Corona virus to category 5, and the relaxation of the measures which have recently been imposed , including restrictive measures and the assignment of hospitals for treatment, after the disease has become less deadly.
And Japan’s health sector reported 59,885 new emerging coronavirus cases today, Thursday, down 19,469 from yesterday, Wednesday.
Countries with an increase in respiratory infections
Meanwhile, many countries have seen an increase in respiratory infections during the current winter, and several opinions have been put forward to try to explain this.
For example, in the middle of this month, the Spanish capital, Madrid, announced that it would “reopen” an emergency hospital amid a sharp rise in flu and other respiratory illnesses, according to Anadolu Agency. .
The hospital was built in just 100 days and opened in December 2020 to care for patients infected with the coronavirus.
But with the current rise in cases of flu and other respiratory illnesses, and heavy pressure on Madrid’s main hospitals, the government has said it will “start procedures to open the hospital”.
Another example, North Korea imposed a 5-day confinement in its capital, Pyongyang, due to a “respiratory disease”, according to what the French Press Agency reported yesterday Tuesday, citing a specialized site south -Korean.
And according to the specialized site “NK News” – based in Seoul – citing a government document, that the inhabitants of Pyongyang have been ordered to stay at home from Wednesday to Sunday, and that they must measure their body temperature several times a day. This does not refer to “Covid-19”, but confirms that the common cold is among the new diseases currently spreading in the capital.
The increase in respiratory infections is not surprising: last December, a report by the American network “CNN” reported warnings from experts that respiratory viruses could increase after the holidays.
The report said at the time that infectious disease and public health experts were growing concerned that the United States would face more respiratory infections in January.
What are the most important respiratory viruses we can witness in winter?
- Rhinoviruses that cause the common cold
- Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) (Respiratory Syncytial Virus)
According to previous statements by Dr Stephen Griffin, a virologist at the University of Leeds, to the Guardian, “Upper respiratory viruses, such as rhinoviruses, tend to be associated with a runny nose, but everyone reacts differently. , so it’s really difficult to identify the symptoms of the respiratory virus that I have.
Why are we seeing an increase in respiratory infections?
There are several explanations for this; The appearance of most of these viruses reaches its peak during the winter season, since it multiplies faster and remains contagious longer when it is cold, and exposure to cold air reduces the immune defenses of our nose , which makes the job easier. for us to contract airborne viruses, and we are exposed to more of them when we spend more time socializing indoors.
It seems that two years of non-exposure to these viruses – following the Corona isolation measures – has disrupted their usual patterns. A number of people are usually infected each year, but when these seasonal waves are suppressed; For example, due to school closures and mixing restrictions, the number of susceptible individuals in a population will increase.
Now that people are socializing more, wearing fewer masks, and paying less attention to ventilation and hand hygiene, the risks of these vulnerable people catching and transmitting the infection are high.
Do we have to be infected with respiratory viruses to develop immunity against them?
The answer: Of course not, according to Dr Antonia Hu, an infectious disease consultant at the University of Glasgow’s Virus Research Centre.
Although the winter season carries an increased risk of respiratory viruses, medical news indicates that the control of the Corona epidemic and the high rate of vaccinations in the world means that there is no pressure on the health systems, and that even if the rate of respiratory infections increases, hospitals will be able to cope with it.
A report published in the American newspaper ‘The Atlantic’ yesterday, Tuesday, indicates that the worst-case scenario for the season has not yet been realized, what some have called the ‘triple epidemic’, i.e. the infection with corona, flu and respiratory syncytial virus.
The report adds that unlike last year and the previous year, the hurricane caused by Corona virus hospitalizations and deaths did not hit the country in the first month of winter, and it now appears that influenza and respiratory syncytial virus are in a state of continued decline.
“We’re fine now,” said Mary Beth Mioto, MD, pediatrician and president of the Massachusetts chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
However, two months from spring, there is still plenty of time for another crisis to strike. Certain types of flu, in particular, could be vulnerable to a second peak late in the season.
As a result, expert Kathleen Gitelina told The Atlantic: “We have to be careful and realize we’re still in the middle…but so far this winter hasn’t been as bad as I expected. was waiting.”
How do you protect yourself against respiratory viruses?
- Get the Corona vaccine.
- Get your flu shot.
- Follow personal hygiene procedures, such as washing your hands and covering your mouth and nose when you sneeze.
- If you are sick or think you might be, wear a mask and try to avoid mingling with people.
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