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The incidence of influenza began to fall very noticeably
A photo: Maria LENTZ
After the arrival of a new coronavirus infection, the incidence of influenza began to fall very noticeably. And by the current epidemic season, it has practically disappeared – both in Russia and around the world, said “KP” and about. Director of the N.I. A.A. Smorodintseva, Head of the Department of Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology, St. I.P. Pavlova, Doctor of Medical Sciences Dmitry Lioznov. Why this could happen, the expert explained in the first part of the interview. We continue the conversation.
– Dmitry Anatolyevich, since the appearance of COVID-19 to this day, discussions have not ended: what are the similarities and differences between influenza and covid. What would you say as an infectious disease specialist and head of the Influenza Research Institute?
– In general, acute respiratory infections caused by different pathogens (influenza, covid, and other acute respiratory viral infections) appear very similar. If we are talking about mild forms, then it is often very difficult to distinguish them from each other without laboratory research. That is why we take a smear to determine if it is flu, rhinovirus, adenovirus, etc. But such studies are needed rather for epidemiological purposes, monitoring the spread of infections. For doctors, with most respiratory infections, it does not matter what caused a particular ARVI – because the treatment is mainly symptomatic: antipyretics and drugs, depending on the lesion of the upper respiratory tract.
The exception is influenza and covid. Because there are direct antiviral drugs with proven effectiveness to treat influenza. And covid is a disease that requires special vigilance: both in terms of treatment and anti-epidemic measures.
Today, if we see symptoms of ARVI in a patient, then first of all, of course, we think about Covid. And only after excluding it after research, one should assume another respiratory infection.
– Does the covid still have characteristic symptoms that cannot be confused with anything? Or is it a delusion?
– They often talk about the loss of smell. In fact, it is seen in many respiratory viral infections. But with Covid, undoubtedly, more often than with other acute respiratory viral infections.
– Is there any special cough that sets off covid patients?
– More likely no than yes. With a mild and moderate form of COVID-19, it is quite difficult to distinguish between the clinical picture.
– Cardiologists say that with coronavirus infection, the inner lining of the blood vessels is affected. Is this even possible with other respiratory infections, or is it a unique complication?
– Yes, this is typical, for example, for a severe course of influenza, especially in older patients,
Head of the Research Institute of Influenza Dmitry Lioznov
– It is also often discussed: can COVID-19 become chronic? Influenza surely can’t?
– Influenza, of course not. We have known the coronavirus infection for a year already, but it still remains a lot of mysteries for us. So, we see that in some cases, the patient may have a long-term isolation of the pathogen COVID-19. The question is – is it a chronic form?
In general, respiratory viruses, pathogens of ARVI, are not characterized by a chronic course. These are acute infections, with elimination (destruction – Ed.) Of the pathogen. For some of them, re-infection is possible, even several times during the year. For example, the same rhinoviruses, since there are many of them, dozens of serotypes. For covid, there is no data on the chronic course.
– According to international data, at least 45-50% of people tolerate covid asymptomatically, and another 30-35% – in mild and moderate form. Why, in your opinion, is this happening?
– Why do all other respiratory infections in the vast majority of cases proceed easily? This means that the body can cope with the pathogen. It should be so. There are potentially fatal infections like rabies, for example. If the vaccination is not done in time, the person will inevitably die. With regard to all other infections, we see, if this is not a plague, not a particularly dangerous disease, then in most patients they proceed mildly and in a moderate form. And for a smaller part it is difficult and extremely difficult.
– Also, if we compare covid and flu, we know that there are direct-acting medications for the second, as you already mentioned. But flu medications are said to become less effective over time. It’s true?
– With regard to antiviral drugs, as well as antibiotics, the pathogen can develop resistance (resistance to the drug. – Ed.). If we talk about the drugs used today against influenza, domestic and foreign, then the resistance to them is insignificant. That is, fortunately, all the drugs that are available today for the treatment of influenza are effective. In addition, new drugs are being developed. Recently, the drug baloxavir for a single dose was registered in our country (“KP” told about this invention of Japanese scientists). Thus, we have a sufficient arsenal of anti-influenza drugs.
– Are they generally needed in case of a mild form?
– If a person is not included in the risk group (age 60+, people with chronic diseases, etc. – Ed.) And the disease proceeds easily, then antivirals can often be dispensed with. Patients at risk of such drugs are needed to prevent the development of a severe form of the disease and complications.
– For a mild form of COVID-19, how relevant are antiviral drugs?
– Today there are no antiviral drugs with proven efficacy against the pathogen COVID-19. Therefore, of course, with a mild form of the disease, if there are no aggravating factors, therapy can take place with the help of symptomatic and pathogenetic agents (that is, they affect not the virus itself, but the painful processes that the infection causes – Ed.).
QUESTION IN THE TOPIC
– Dmitry Anatolyevich, what do you think: why none of the flu strains since the “Spanish” did not lead to such a large-scale pandemic and to as many victims as COVID-19?
– Because before there was no such pathogen. We know the rest. The last influenza pandemic of 2009, according to estimates, led to the death of 200 thousand people (the number of victims of COVID-19 according to statistics is already over 2.5 million – Ed.) Then vaccines against the pandemic virus were quickly developed. In addition, part of the population was immune to the new influenza virus.
And now there are practically no immune people. And the new virus naturally spreads well.
– The Spanish flu had three waves. Is there a pattern in this? Can we assume that it will be so with COVID-19?
– I would not like, of course. During the 2009 pandemic, we had two waves. And then the causative agent of pandemic influenza became seasonal. And this is quite natural. Conditions change, in certain seasons of the year it is more difficult for the pathogen to be transmitted, spread. All of this matters.
It’s hard to say if COVID-19 will have a third wave. We see that not all of them have recovered yet. There are people who avoid infection, competently observe anti-epidemic measures. If we do not comply with certain measures, we do not vaccinate those who need vaccination first of all, then, of course, the risks of an increase in morbidity remain. That is why it is necessary to take a responsible attitude to the vaccination campaign against coronavirus infection.
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Natalia Senchukova and Viktor Rybin are rightfully considered one of the strongest couples in Russian show business. Artists have been happy together for over 30 years. About people like them they say – together in sorrow and in joy. On February 12, 1999, their son Vasily was born. Famous parents are proud of the heir. On the occasion of his 22nd birthday, the singer posted a photo of her son and wrote touching words to him.
“The happiest day of my life happened 22 years ago! Our son Vasya was born! And like all parents, we wish him to be healthy and happy! “, – wrote Natalia Senchukova under the picture of the birthday boy.
It should be noted that the son of the singer and lead singer of the Dune group, Viktor Rybin, grew up to be a real handsome man. He has a model appearance – long wavy hair, perfect facial features and a perfect figure.
Vasily has been practicing karate since childhood. He is studying at the Moscow State Institute of Cinematography as a director of theatrical performances. After completing his undergraduate studies and successfully defending his thesis, the young man entered the magistracy.
He inherited his love for music from his parents. Several years ago, he and his friends organized a rock group and now plays drums and sings in it.
Natalia Senchukova and Victor Rybin
A photo: Boris KUDRYAVOV
Often a guy is invited to take part in fashion photo shoots. But the young man does not associate his life with the modeling business. Vasily often demonstrates his muscular body, actively blogs.
According to the young man, he since childhood dreamed of the figure of a warrior… “That is, the proportional ratio of the top and bottom. I have always strived for the strength and endurance of any muscle group,” he said.
To achieve this goal, Vasily trains every day. This approach was instilled in him by his father. Rybin personally trained his son from the age of three. The fact is that Rybin Jr. has very thin bones and a low predisposition to gaining muscle mass. “The main thing that allows me to progress is a mood or a state of mild passion. A state on the verge of anger and euphoria, in which the muscles begin to work a little differently, as if some additional reserves are connected,” Vasily shared.
As for personal life, then the son of star spouses has been dating a lover named Daria for seven years… The girl receives a medical degree. Vasily calls his beloved his muse.
The top leaders of the European Union greeted “friend” Joe Biden on Wednesday, on the day of his inauguration as president of the United States, and launched the idea of a new “founding pact” for bilateral relations. After four years of Donald Trump’s tenure in Washington, Europe has “a friend in the White House,” said the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, in a speech to the European Parliament.
«The day brings good news. America is back, and Europe is ready to reconnect with a long-time and trusted partner.nza, to give a new life to our alliance, “said the official.
For his part, the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, took the opportunity to launch a call for the construction of a new “founding pact” for the transatlantic alliance. I would like to solemnly address today, the day Joe Biden takes office, a call to build together a new founding pact for a stronger Europe, for a stronger America and for a better world, “said Michel.
This new agenda for Europe and the United States “that we want to put on the table is an ambitious agenda, and that is why, on this first day of his mandate, I want to invite President Biden to participate in an extraordinary meeting of the European Council in Brussels” he added.
Michel argued Tuesday night with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, the possibility of organizing the European meeting at the same time as the Summit of the Alliance in which President Biden will participate. The dates have not yet been set and will depend on the success against the covid-19 pandemic.
“We look forward to working with President-elect Joe Biden to further strengthen ties between the United States and Europe, as we face global challenges that neither can tackle alone,” Stoltenberg tweeted after that dialogue with Michel.
Of the 27 member countries of the EU, 20 are also members of the transatlantic military alliance.
Iranian President Hasan Rohani on Wednesday congratulated himself on the “end” of the era of “tyrant” Donald Trump, who ends his term as president and will be replaced in the White House by Democrat Joe Biden, elected in November. “The era of another tyrant is coming to an end and today is the last day of his terrible reign,” Rohani told a meeting of the Iranian government.
“Throughout its four years it has not borne fruit other than injustice and corruption,” said Rohani, referring to Trump’s presidential term. “He only brought problems to his own people and to the rest of the world,” the Iranian president added in a speech broadcast on television. Iran and the United States broke diplomatic relations in 1980.