Scientific council warns of possible resurgence of respiratory infections this winter

The COVID-19 pandemic and the health measures taken to contain it have also had an impact on the scale of other respiratory infections. In the context of improving health conditions and easing restrictions, the Scientific Council is now concerned about a possible return of the seasonal virus.

The COVID-19 pandemic is not the only pandemic closely monitored by the Scientific Council. In the latest opinion released by the organization and made public this Thursday, October 7, its members called for increased vigilance against other respiratory viruses.

“During the period of circulation of SARS-CoV-2, an extremely significant reduction was observed in the circulation of the two viruses responsible for seasonal epidemics: influenza and RSV (respiratory syncytial virus)”, notes the Scientific Council.

A virtual absence that is explained by the implementation of barrier measures (social distancing, wearing of masks, hydrochloric gel) to fight against the Covid-19 pandemic “but can also be increased by a mechanism called viral interference”, in other words a Difficulty co-circulating two respiratory viruses at the same time.

Flu pandemic begins “October or November”

Now that the COVID-19 pandemic is under control, especially thanks to vaccinations, scientists are alerting to other respiratory infections that may occur during the fall and winter. With regard to influenza, the Council considers that “epidemiological aspects and aspects of vaccination” should be taken into account when more than 10 million people were vaccinated against influenza last year.

“It is possible that this pandemic will begin in October or early November, especially if barrier measures are quickly eased and international trade resumes”, warned the Scientific Council, which will judge states that the impact of the pandemic will depend on the nature of the virus (H3N2 or H1N1). “The current indication indicating a definite circulation of virus A (H3N2) may be considered a serious sign”, continues the Scientific Council which concludes that “the hypothesis of a pandemic in 2021–2022 should be considered.” needed”.

Probably a big RSV epidemic this year

Regarding respiratory syncytial virus, the Scientific Council notes that the 2020-2021 pandemic was “smaller than the previous season, with a late onset”.

β€œIt is therefore necessary to anticipate that the size of the RSV epidemic will be larger this winter than the previous winter, especially if it is postponed to January or February 2022”, says the council, which recalls that such Not there. Vaccines or treatments for RSV, “therefore, communication around barrier measures during an RSV epidemic would be useful”.

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