A combination of flu and Corona is particularly dangerous

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By withdrawing protective measures, more other viruses will circulate alongside the coronavirus. This increases the risk of simultaneous infections with two different viruses. For Sars-CoV-2 and influenza, researchers find worrying amplification effects.

Adults hospitalized with Covid-19 and influenza simultaneously have a much higher risk of severe illness and death than patients who only have Covid-19 or are infected with other viruses. This is shown by research results from scientists at the University of Edinburgh, the University of Liverpool, the University of Leiden, and Imperial College London, published in the scientific journal “The Lancet.“ Patients co-infected with Sars-CoV-2 and influenza viruses were more than four times more likely to need ventilatory support and 2.4 times more likely to die than if they only had Covid-19.

The researchers had used data from more than 305,000 hospital patients with Covid-19 for their study. The study is reportedly the largest on people with covid-19 and other endemic respiratory viruses. The team looked at data from adults hospitalized with Covid-19 in the UK between 6 February 2020 and 8 December 2021. Six thousand nine hundred sixty-five patients were tested for viral co-infections, and 583 (8.4 percent) were found to have them. Two hundred twenty-seven patients had influenza viruses, 220 patients had a human respiratory syncytial virus, and 136 patients had adenoviruses. Those infected with influenza viruses had more severe illnesses.

According to a release, Maaike Swets, a Ph.D. student at the University of Edinburgh and Leiden University, said, “In the last two years, we have frequently witnessed patients with covid-19 becoming severely ill, at times leading to admission to intensive care and the use of artificial respiration.” That an influenza infection could lead to a similar situation had already been known, he said. However, little was known about the consequences of double disease with Sars-CoV-2 and other respiratory viruses.

It has been found that the combination of Covid-19 and flu viruses is hazardous, assessed Kenneth Baillie. He is a professor of experimental medicine at the University of Edinburgh. He said this would become even more important when many countries reduce social distancing and containment measures. “We expect Covid-19 to circulate with influenza, increasing the likelihood of co-infection. Therefore, we should change our testing strategy for covid-19 patients in hospital and test much more broadly for influenza,” Bailie said.

Calum Semple, professor of outbreak medicine and child health at the University of Liverpool, expects another wave of flu this winter. “We were surprised to find that the risk of death more than doubled when people were infected with both flu and covid 19 viruses.” He said it was important that people were fully vaccinated against both viruses.

According to Peter Openshaw, professor of experimental medicine at Imperial College London, getting infected with more than one virus is not shared. “But it is important to be aware that co-infections do occur.” Openshaw pointed out that the vaccines that protect against Covid-19 and influenza are different, as are how these two infections are treated. Therefore, she said, it is essential to test Covid-19 patients in the hospital for flu.

  • source: ntv.de/picture: pixabay.com
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