Posted 23 декабря 2022, 12:04

Published 23 декабря 2022, 12:04

Modified 24 декабря 2022, 22:38

Updated 24 декабря 2022, 22:38

The flu epidemic through the eyes of doctors: where is the way out and when will the recession come?

23 декабря 2022, 12:04
Russia is experiencing the peak of the influenza epidemic. At risk are children. Deaths of minors are reported from different regions. There are already many myths and conjectures about the current H1N1 flu. When the epidemic subsides, how not to get sick and is it worth getting vaccinated? These questions were answered by experts - practitioners.

Irina Mishina

There are people in masks in the transport again, at the entrance to the clinics, the temperature is taken. The incidence of influenza in the country has increased several times compared to last year's figures - 143.6 cases per ten thousand people. The biggest risk group for influenza is children under five years of age. Older ones, including teenagers and young adults, are also at risk.

An epidemic without quarantine and immunity is a blow to children

There are already statistics of deaths: a 17-year-old cadet of the University of the Ministry of Internal Affairs died in Stavropol, a 15-year-old girl died in the Yaroslavl region, and a ten -year-old student died in Chelyabinsk . However, according to the head of Rospotrebnadzor Anna Popova, no restrictions are planned at the federal level.

A surge in the incidence of respiratory infections in children is also recorded in the world. In Britain, Canada and Germany - a sharp increase in hospitalizations of babies under one year old. Hospitals in the US state of Michigan are called by the media a "disaster zone": there are sorely not enough places for women with children, long queues line up. “People wait for hours for doctors to pay attention to them,” eyewitnesses say .

Why do children get sick so often and severely? Some are now putting forward versions that the “home” treatment of mothers who do not go to doctors is to blame. However, experts have a different opinion.

“Many children have not yet developed immunity against the flu. For two years, due to the coronavirus, we were in isolation, and at that time we did not have the flu. The second factor is that children have not had the flu before, unlike many adults. In addition, only 54% of the population is vaccinated against the flu. There is another factor: in the collectives where the flu was detected, there was no testing for the virus, when sick children were detected, they were not sent to quarantine, although quarantine in the collective is indicated for 20% of the sick. Quarantine was practically not introduced anywhere in our country, ”the candidate of medical sciences, infectious disease specialist, head doctor of the Leader-Medicine medical center Evgeny Timakov told NI.

Pavel Vorobyov, professor, chairman of the board of the Moscow Scientific Society of Therapists, president of the Society for Pharmacoeconomic Research, agrees with him: “Children and adolescents, as well as young people, are getting sick the most now, because they did not carry the flu virus before, they did not meet him. There are much more people who have had the flu among the older generation. The last serious influenza epidemic was known to have been in 2009. There is no cure here at all. The fact is that today there are no antiviral drugs with proven efficacy against the H1N1 strain. As therapists, we recommend drinking more water. If the temperature is difficult to tolerate - take ibuprofen or analgin.

At the same time, it is known that the head of Rospotrebnadzor, Anna Popova , reported that swine flu is treated with Oseltamivir. However, at the same time, she clarified: it should be used in severe cases requiring hospitalization, as well as for outpatients at risk. Doctors now call the course of the disease with a temperature of 38-39 in children "classic" or "moderate."

At the same time, doctors have already identified differences in the course of influenza in children and adults. “Adults are less likely to give a temperature reaction, unlike children. But in adults, complications in the form of thrombosis are more common than in children. Unfortunately, there are already statistics on deaths, ”said Pavel Vorobyov, professor, chairman of the board of the Moscow Scientific Society of Therapists , to NI.

Flu + Covid = Mission Impossible?

Among the strains of influenza, the so-called swine -H1N1 now predominates. Genealogically, it goes back to the famous "Spanish Flu", which, according to some estimates, claimed the lives of one hundred million people in 1918-1920. This option came back several times. The 2009 pandemic was particularly severe. Then, according to WHO, 18,449 people died. But there are also regular seasonal influenza A H3N2 and other respiratory viral infections.

The coronavirus today should not be discounted either: it has not disappeared anywhere, although it has weakened greatly. In combination with other infections, it still poses a danger. But in almost a hundred percent of cases, covid is now mild or completely asymptomatic. But the flu immediately after it is transferred many times harder, experts say.

Do people who have been ill with coronavirus or vaccinated against it have immunity against influenza?

“These are completely different viruses. A person vaccinated against covid or who has been ill with it can get the flu, ”says Yevgeny Timakov, candidate of medical sciences, infectious disease specialist.

“The coronavirus has nothing to do with the flu. Those who have recovered from coronavirus have antibodies to Covid-19, but not to the flu. And the coronavirus vaccine has no effect on getting the flu. I have not heard about the fact that it is possible to get sick with covid and flu at the same time, ”explained professor, chairman of the board of the Moscow Scientific Society of Therapists Pavel Vorobyov .

Conclusion: it is impossible to catch the flu and the coronavirus at the same time. This is a misconception related to the peculiarities of diagnostics. However, a sensitive PCR test can show the presence of various microbes in one sample from the nasopharynx.

Is vaccination necessary?

Now the possibility of making a vaccine that would act against both covid and flu is being discussed. This was announced by the head of Rospotrebnadzor Anna Popova . According to her, a new structure was even created in the structure of Rospotrebnadzor for these purposes - the Institute of Systemic Biology and Medicine of Rospotrebnadzor. Nothing is known about his work yet, and we asked experts to comment on the likelihood of creating such a vaccine and its effectiveness. The well-known Russian virologist, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences Petr Chumakov answered “NI” that he had no information on this issue. This seemed rather strange to us, because Pyotr Mikhailovich, with his many years of experience, always commented in detail on vaccination issues. Other experts, as it turned out, had a dissenting opinion.

“In my opinion, this is a marketing ploy. Vaccination is always someone's business, everything else is secondary. Drain, like compote, you can use any substance. But pharmacology teaches: each substance acts separately. If the Institute was created a year ago, where was it at the beginning of the influenza epidemic? Now the epidemiological period is in full swing, and vaccination will no longer be effective, ”said Pavel Vorobyov, professor, chairman of the board of the Moscow Scientific Society of Therapists, president of the Society for Pharmacoeconomic Research.

Infectionist, candidate of medical sciences Yevgeny Timakov is also somewhat skeptical: “In general, each antigen, either from the flu or from the covid, acts differently. Theoretically, such a vaccine can probably be created, what happens in reality - we'll see. It is worth remembering that many vaccines cause complications.”

Doctors' forecasts

How long will the flu epidemic last? This question is now being discussed by many. There is reason to believe that the end of the epidemic is already in sight.

“In my opinion, the epidemic will subside in about a month. Holidays are coming soon, people will be separated, so it should be easier in January,” says Pavel Vorobyov, Doctor of Medical Sciences.

But there are other opinions as well. “Now the epidemic in the regions is on the decline, during the holidays the incidence will decline even more, because people will leave for other cities or abroad,” says Evgeny Timakov, Candidate of Medical Sciences, infectious disease specialist . “But after people return home in mid-January, the incidence may start to rise again. But everything will depend on the weather: if there is frost, the incidence will not increase much, but with moist air, the virus will remain in the air longer.”