ROMA. With the loosening of the restrictions against Covid-19 that are going hand in hand with the increase in vaccinated, other respiratory viruses, which remained muted last year, such as influenza and respiratory syncytial virus, could show peaks of contagion in the coming months. An article published on the Nature website describes how the pandemic has led and will lead to major changes in the spread of other pathogens.
Seasonal flu, for example, has practically vanished for most of 2020 and 2021. But most experts agree that it will recover, perhaps ferociously, as travel restrictions and social interventions designed to curb SARS-COV-2, such as wearing the mask and maintaining spacing, will decrease.
“Once we forget our good health practices – says Robert Ware, epidemiologist at Griffith University in Queensland, Australia – the flu is likely to hit hard again.” Also because it will find immune systems untrained to deal with it. §
As for syncytial virus infections (RSV), responsible for about 5% of deaths in children under 5 worldwide, with the Covid pandemic they fell to historic lows for a year but then started to rise in April 2021 , also due to the accumulation of susceptible newborns: off-season peaks, i.e. around April 2021, were observed in the USA, South Africa, Japan, Australia and the Netherlands.