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Thus The Flu Can Facilitate The Spread Of Covid-19

A second wave of coronavirus simultaneously with the awakening of the classic seasonal flu . This is the greatest fear of epidemiologists in view of the coming months when, between autumn and winter, colds, coughs and various fevers are the order of the day . The problem is that now, with the arrival of Sars-CoV-2 among us, a trivial fever, with a body temperature above 37.5 degrees, an insistent cough due to some allergy or a simple illness due to a temperature change, are sufficient to trigger all the necessary alarms.

What will happen when more and more people are infected with the normal flu? Most of them will probably think they have Covid and will rush to hospitals , thus clogging up the Italian health system. The worst-case scenario continues with the possible short-circuit of Italian health, a hypothesis among other things brought up by various experts.

Speaking of influenza, there is a joint study, by the Max Planck Institute in Germany and the Pasteur Institute in France, which has shown how the collision of the Covid and influenza pandemic can contribute to double the transmission of Covid. The research, published on , and yet to be peer-reviewed, has attracted the attention of various scientists. If only because it addresses a crucial issue in view of the imminent future: the relationship-link between the new coronavirus and the flu.

Transmission doubled

In other words, the influence could more than double the transmission speed of the new coronavirus. The aforementioned research, also reported by the South China Morning Post , has in fact shown how a patient infected with Sars-CoV-2 is on average able to transmit Covid-19 to two other people. But if that same person also had the flu, they would be able to help the mysterious virus move into the bodies of four or five people . The title of the study is emblematic: “Influenza Can Facilitate the Spread of SARS-CoV-2”.

The researchers, led by German epidemiologist Matthieu Domenech de Celles, said the results of their work were "unambiguous". The great bugbear is called the second wave (of Covid). To date, no one knows if, how, when and with what intensity this wave will hit the whole world. To try to clarify, the team of experts has developed a model capable of simulating the co-circulation of seasonal flu and the new coronavirus. By analyzing the data relating to Covid-19 recorded in European countries, including Italy, Spain and Belgium, scientists have tried to decouple the impact caused by the two infectious diseases.

There are two recurring opinions within the scientific community. There are those who believe that the infection of flu strains can produce an immune response in patients capable of providing partial protection to Covid, and those who think diametrically opposite. The latter argue that the flu can only make the situation worse, since a patient co-infected with both diseases must fight against two different viruses simultaneously. Not only that: some flu symptoms, such as coughing and sneezing, would favor the spread of the new coronavirus.

Is the flu shot needed?

The study then put another hypothesis on the table: the drop in new cases after the first wave of Covid last spring would not have been caused only by the blocking measures and social distancing, but also by the end of the flu season . As if that weren't enough, the researchers found that 30% to 50% of the co-infections that occurred during the first leg were not detected. The new coronavirus takes more than five days to manifest with the first symptoms, and this is a much longer incubation period than the flu one.

In 1918, the pandemic caused by the H1N1 virus infected a third of the world's population, killing 50 million people. It occurred in multiple waves, and some scientists believe these were exacerbated by the seasonal flu. Then there is a much more recent study, conducted in May by Google and the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, which found how influenza can increase the amount of angiotensin converting enzymes in the human body ( ACE2 ). Recall that ACE 2 is the main receptor used by the new coronavirus to bind to host cells. Perhaps this is also why many doctors in China and the United States are urging citizens to get vaccinated against the flu before winter arrives.

 Source: Inside Over
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