What diseases are aggravated by winter: monkeypox, influenza and covid in the winter of 2022-2023
send to Telegram
share on Facebook < /li>
send to Viber
send to Whatsapp
send to Messenger
All you need to know about seasonal diseases and development influenza, coronavirus and monkeypox with the arrival of cold weather.
With the onset of cold weather, the season of seasonal viruses starts, from which it is difficult to protect yourself. But there are those to whom infections literally “stick” – people with a weakened immune system, children, older people and overworked adults under the pressure of chronic stress. We have collected all the useful information about what seasonal diseases are aggravated with cold weather, as well as medical forecasts about whether to expect an influenza epidemic, a new round of the coronavirus pandemic and a monkeypox epidemic this winter.
What diseases are aggravated in winter< /h2>
SARS and influenza
Seasonal viruses begin to rage with the onset of cold weather. The most vulnerable to respiratory diseases are the elderly, those with weakened immune systems and those who suffer from chronic diseases.
Doctors note that due to weakened immunity, some people can get the flu or SARS for five, or even six times a season. Moreover, a common cold can put a person on sick leave for 20 days, and not go away in a week, as is the case with the normal course of the disease.
People who suffer from chronic respiratory diseases are also at a special risk group – it is much easier for pathogens to penetrate the already weakened mucous membrane. Doctors advise starting to improve immunity now and not abandoning the treatment of a chronic illness – this will increase the chances of not catching a seasonal virus.
Swollen and reddened joints, pain during movement – all this has long ceased to be a problem only for elderly people. Doctors note that in recent years, arthritis has been increasingly tormenting not only pensioners, but also 30-year-old people.
This disease directly depends on the temperature outside the window. In warmer winters, exacerbations of arthritis are less common, but severe frosts are the enemies of a person suffering from arthritis.
Doctors advise keeping diseased joints warm and avoid hypothermia, and also pay more attention to diseased joints – for example, do gymnastics at home or in the gym.
In general, frosts in no way affect the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract and pancreas. However, doctors have noticed that exacerbations are more common in patients with pancreatitis in winter – the fact is that people tend to “warm up” with the help of fats and alcohol.
Doctors advise trying to stick to a standard diet – limiting alcohol, fatty foods and pickles.
Cystitis, urethritis, prostatitis, pyelonephritis – all these sores also worsen with the onset of cold weather. Doctors advise to insulate the lower back, because all these ailments worsen with its hypothermia.
Diabetics should also take care of themselves in the autumn-winter period. Due to the cold weather, peripheral circulation is weakened, and therefore one should be more careful. Doctors warn that a complication in the form of a “diabetic leg” most often manifests itself in the cold. The advice is simple – keep your feet warm and monitor your blood sugar levels.
Why chronic diseases are exacerbating
Chronic diseases are considered to be diseases that the body cannot cope with for a long time. As a rule, diseases turn into chronic ones due to insufficient or untimely treatment of the old form of the disease.
Doctors believe that age, stress and a general decrease in immunity are the main factors affecting the likelihood of developing a seasonal exacerbation. However, changeable weather, high humidity, rain, cold, shorter daylight hours and changes in atmospheric pressure also contribute. Therefore, in the autumn-winter period, you should especially take care.
What vaccinations to make for the winter
The best way to protect yourself from seasonal diseases, according to the World Health Organization, is vaccination. Many vaccines are now available that can protect against a range of diseases, including diphtheria, hepatitis B, measles, meningitis, pneumonia, polio, and many more.
In anticipation of the onset of the flu season and SARS, doctors advise making flu and COVID-19 vaccines. In the current 2022-2023 season, WHO advises using quadrivalent flu vaccines and making a coronavirus booster.
Will there be an influenza epidemic in winter
In recent weeks, according to the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, the incidence rate of SARS (including coronavirus infection) was 335.3 per 100,000 population. This indicator is less than the epidemic threshold calculated for Ukraine. A similar situation, according to WHO, is also observed in neighboring countries – the incidence is at the off-season level, the circulation of influenza viruses has not been detected. But don't relax.
When to expect a new wave of coronavirus
Scientists fear that with the onset of the winter period in the Northern Hemisphere including in Ukraine, the number of COVID-19 diseases will increase. This season, scientists say, we will likely encounter new strains of the micromicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 that have mutated and evolved the ability to evade immunity.
According to Tom Wenceliers, an evolutionary biologist at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium, scientists are now seeing the decline of BA.2, BA.4 and BA.5, sub-variants of Omicron that drove epidemic waves in the past. But their offspring continue to develop and acquire mutations that help them spread.
Venceliers notes that the current increase in the incidence seems to be associated with the rejection of the mask regime and quarantine restrictions, as well as the weakening of the immunity created by previously made vaccines.
According to scientists, new waves of coronavirus incidence will be commensurate with last year, at least in terms of the number of infections. At the same time, scientists hope that building up population immunity from vaccines and previous infections will allow us to reduce the number of hospitalizations and deaths compared to past waves of COVID-19. But it is still impossible to predict how much, alas.
Boosters, including bivalent vaccines, appear to provide some protection against infection with emerging sub-variants of Omicron, according to the scientists. However, the effect may not last long, and therefore a second dose of the booster may be required to create more persistent protection and a high level of neutralizing antibodies.
Epidemiologist Jennifer Nuzzo of Brown University in Providence says old and new COVID-19 vaccines are still highly effective in preventing severe complications. According to Nuzzo, booster campaigns this season should be aimed at the main risk groups – the elderly, people with chronic diseases who need additional protection.
Will there be a monkeypox epidemic
Epidemiologists sounded the alarm when the number of cases detected outside of Africa in a week exceeded the number of diagnosed patients between 1970 and 2021.
The first cases of monkeypox infection were also recorded in Ukraine. According to the Ministry of Health, all the patients are men aged 25 to 35 who have not recently traveled abroad and have not been in contact with the infected.
Despite the worsening situation, an epidemiologist from the Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases US Army Jay Hooper believes that a new epidemic in the world will not happen. According to the epidemiologist, the monkeypox virus is not as contagious and easily transmitted from person to person as, for example, SARS-CoV-2.
< p>Monkeypox is not spread by airborne droplets like coronavirus, but only through close contact with the patient's fluids – for example, saliva, blood, secretions from ulcers and others.
Currently, there is no vaccine in the world from monkeypox. However, scientists hope that in the near future it will still appear. The monkeypox and commonpox viruses are similar, Hooper said, and scientists have already developed effective treatments and vaccines for the latter. The researchers believe that this will greatly accelerate the development of an effective monkeypox vaccine, as well as help build a strategy to combat the disease around the world.