The coronavirus, which until recently was considered one of the main threats to humanity, today has practically “disappeared from the radar”. Temporarily or permanently?
Tells Head of the Department of Epidemiology and Modern Technologies of Vaccination, Sechenov University, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Mikhail Kostinov.
Lidia Yudina, aif.ru: Mikhail Petrovich, is there any hope that covid will disappear as suddenly as it appeared?
Mikhail Kostinov: Covid is with us forever. Although on May 5, 2023, the head of the WHO announced the end of the state of emergency for COVID-19, the coronavirus continues to circulate to this day. Only in the period from July 3 to July 9, 4030 cases of coronavirus were detected in the country. 1453 patients were hospitalized. This suggests that covid has not disappeared anywhere and severe forms of the disease that require the patient to be in the hospital are still encountered. The decrease in the number of patients is largely due to the warm season.
No need to lose vigilance
– Do experts predict an increase in the incidence?
“Given the high variability of the virus, new outbreaks are very likely, as is the emergence of a new, more pathogenic strain.
Coronavirus, like other viral diseases, is activated during the cold season – from September to March. It is possible that in the fall we will see another rise in the incidence, coinciding with the season of respiratory viral infections.
Unfortunately, today most citizens have lost their vigilance. Although restrictive measures (social distance, remote work, wearing masks, etc.) at one time helped reduce the incidence of not only covid, but also influenza and ARI (acute respiratory infections). Today, these measures have been abandoned, so any infection is more likely to spread.
– They say that covid today has lost its former strength and turned into a common cold. This is true?
– The initial symptoms – fever, catarrhal phenomena – in covid and ARI can indeed be similar. But already a few days after the onset of the disease, the clinical picture of the coronavirus infection will be significantly different.
In addition, uncomplicated ARI disappears without a trace in a maximum of 7-10 days. It takes at least a month to recover even after mild forms of covid. And many who have been ill develop post-covid syndrome (long-covid) – a painful condition that does not go away for at least two months. The proportion of those who have recovered from COVID-19 and have experienced this syndrome ranges from 5 to 50%.
Covid is also known for its dangerous complications – in particular, it is associated with an increased risk of ischemic stroke, cardiovascular disease, thrombosis and pneumonia. There is evidence that people who have had COVID-19 are 40% more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes mellitus, recurrent urticaria, an increased risk of neurological pathologies and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Who is vaccinated?
– Do I need to get vaccinated now?
– Routine vaccination for young healthy people is not currently indicated. It is still necessary to vaccinate the sick and unvaccinated, people over 60 years old, patients with chronic diseases, somatic pathology, for whom the course of covid is extremely dangerous. Most likely, mono- and bivalent vaccines aimed against circulating new strains of coronavirus will be used for revaccination.
– Is it true that coronavirus can help in the treatment of cancer?
– Studies that involve the use of various viruses for the treatment of cancer (in particular, adenovirus and herpes virus) have been going on for a long time.
After the appearance of the coronavirus, it was suggested that the cytokine storm (which occurs in severe forms of covid), as a hyperimmune reaction of the body, can also stimulate antitumor immunity, which can theoretically be used to fight cancer.
However, so far this assumption has not resulted in specific studies and, moreover, has not led to the creation of drugs.
In addition, practice has shown that mortality from coronavirus in cancer patients was higher, since cancer itself weakens the body.