More delicate or extra attentive?: why it looks as if everybody has a chilly | Health & Wellness | EUROtoday

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Many conversations revolve as of late in Spain round that member of the family, pal or co-worker who has a stuffy nostril, cough, chilly, or all of those signs on the identical time. The impression that come winter everybody finally ends up getting sick returns yearly, punctually like clockwork, for easy seasonal causes. With the chilly and the absence of air flow in closed areas, viruses equivalent to flu and covid discover preferrred circumstances for his or her unfold. The feeling of being trapped in an limitless spiral of infections throughout this time of yr has been strengthened after the pandemic, when masks and social distancing did their job defending the inhabitants from the flu. But is it true that colds hit us tougher and extra often than earlier than?

“It is normal that on these dates the cases are increasing, and that they continue to increase. In health centers these days, many patients come for consultation with colds and respiratory infections, although in most cases they are not serious cases,” explains Dr. Leovigildo Ginel, secretary of the Society’s respiratory diseases working group. Spanish Primary Care Physicians (SEMERGEN). The doctor highlights that it is normal that after the pandemic winters – when flu, colds and common colds practically disappeared in favor of covid-19 – the immune system has to get used to the coexistence of more viruses.

According to data from the Carlos III Health Institute, the rate of acute respiratory infections in week 49 of 2023, that of the Constitution Bridge, hospitalizations due to flu and covid-19 are increasing, while downward fluctuations are observed in hospitalized for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection. However, for now the cases do not exceed those of last winter, although experts prefer to remain cautious, considering that the infection season has just begun, and it will be in January and February when it reaches its peak.

As far as experts know, respiratory viruses have not become more aggressive in recent years. The epidemiologist at the Hospital Clínic of Barcelona Toni Trilla finds a plausible cause in the so-called “immune debt.” “Since we have not been exposed to other pathogens during the time of the coronavirus, now that they have circulated again, it is possible that they will hit us harder, because we have lost training,” he says. This, added to the truth that containment measures equivalent to masks and social distancing had been now not adopted, has meant that the inhabitants has as soon as once more been uncovered to viruses to which it was now not accustomed.

“When a virus, as was the case with SARS-CoV-2, circulates so much, it’s regular for the others to cease doing so, that is what known as ecological competitors,” agrees Magda Campins, head of preventive medicine at the Vall D’hospital. Hebron. Taking into account that in a normal flu season 25% of the population catches the flu, the epidemiologist estimates that in the next two or three years, the population will have recovered pre-pandemic immunity levels. “This calculation clearly does not apply to very young children, who until the age of six do not achieve the levels of acquired immunity that adults have,” she adds.

Immunity, both the natural one that develops after having passed the disease and that from the vaccine, is limited in time, since viruses mutate frequently. “It is possible that a person who has been exposed to the circulating virus this year will no longer have protection next year. This is why getting vaccinated is never too much, even for younger people who do not have previous pathologies,” Campins insists. More than 1.7 million people, 60% of the population over 80 years of age, have received the vaccine adapted to the subvariants of Covid-19 this season, according to data from the Ministry of Health. Although the big news is the first vaccination campaign for babies against RSV, it causes the vast majority of cases of bronchiolitis in infants, leading one in every 56 babies who suffer from it to be admitted to the hospital.

More viruses in circulation

One of the things that has surely changed is the panorama of viral circulation, which has become more complex since the arrival of the coronavirus. “We are never going to have a situation exactly the same as the one we had before Covid,” acknowledges Amparo Larrauri, head of the flu and other respiratory viruses surveillance group at the National Epidemiology Center of the Carlos III Health Institute. “SARS-CoV-2 is one more agent that is here to stay, and that is competing with the circulation of other viruses at this time of year.” Larrauri explains that in the last two seasons, during the months of October to December, the circulation of the flu viruses, SARS-CoV-2 and RSV, is being experienced at the same time, which could lead to the perception of a greater number of respiratory processes in the population.

Paying more attention to respiratory symptoms would also be a key factor in reinforcing this sensation. Experts emphasize that after the pandemic, when a little cough was more than enough to set off all the alarms, the population has become more aware of the dangers of contagion. “We are all more sensitive. We notice the symptoms, and if we have covid we worry about not visiting our grandparents,” says Salvador Peiró, director of the Health Services Research Area at Fisabio.

Julián Domínguez, head of the Preventive Medicine service at the Ceuta Hospital, recognizes that every time there is a new epidemic wave, we start from very few common cases, and as soon as the number begins to grow, the subjective feeling that everything the world is sick. “When two or three infected patients coincide at the same time in a hospitalization ward, the comment is that there are a lot of infected, although in reality in the weeks before or after the data are absolutely normal,” he indicates.

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