The end of the mask triggers infectious diseases

The covid has changed the world from top to bottom and although in countries like Spain it is gradually returning to normality, the pandemic has disrupted many aspects of life, including incidence and the appearance of other diseases. In fact, specialists are amazed at the fact thatin the middle of Junecases of fluwhen the normal thing is that the flu viruses concentrate at the end of winter. “It is something unusual”, warns Rafael Marron, president of the Spanish Society of Emergency and Emergency Medicine (SEMES) in Aragon.

Brown knows the situation well because the rebound in infectious diseases is causing, again, an increase in pressure in primary care but also in the emergenciesespecially in the pediatric. According to data from the president of the Spanish Society of Pediatric Emergencies (SEUP), Paula Vázquez, from the end of April, just when the obligation to carry face mask in closed spaces, except in public transport and health centersIt has been a increase in pediatric emergency care between 30% and 50%, on average throughout the national territory.

The also head of pediatric emergencies in Madrid Gregorio Maranon Hospital attributes the increase to a set of factors. In the first place, the removal of masks, especially indoors, which favors contagion in children who “they barely have immunity because for two years they have had fewer contacts with viruses [excepto el covid]”, due to the mask but also to the reduced mobility and social interactions, which has kept them isolated, with relationships exclusively with their environment and your bubble group.

“All viruses at once”

This situation has caused not only circulation of the flu out of the usual season, but also from the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) –which in infants causes the common bronchiolitis–, which normally circulates in winter. To this is added the adenoviruses -which cause respiratory discomfort, conjunctivitis, cystitis…- common in spring and summer and digestive diseases–. “They are playing all viruses at once and we are seeing pictures with high fever and that lasts several days”, points out the specialist.

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At the end of the mask, two more factors are added that explain the increase in the use of emergencies: problems of access to primary care and specializedwhich are causing emergencies to become the gateway to the health system due to the impossibility of obtaining date in a short period of time and thelack of health culture”, which makes many people go to the emergency room before mild cases, something that according to Vázquez has become more acute during the pandemic. “They have become accustomed to coming to the emergency room with little evolved pictures,” he laments. And he mentions examples of “children under 11 years old whose parents take them to the hospital with barely an hour of fever or children with elbow pain that passes in the waiting room.”

All of this is forming a “Molotov cocktail”, which “exhausts staff” and “prevents optimal care for priority cases”, according to the SEUP president.

income down

The good news in this scenario is that diseases generally cause mild symptoms and income rate going down. If it is normal for the percentage of admissions after passing through the emergency room to be 5%, at the moment, in children it is 2.5%. However, the problem is that, for the moment, the arrival of the heat has not caused a drop in the incidence of traditionally winter infections in minors and in emergencies “it is worrying” that the high will continue. pressure even on vacationwhen many of its professionals take a few weeks off and, therefore, waiting times and attention and access problems can increase.

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In the Adults the situation is not so worrying, but flu infections also continue to occur despite the fact that a good part of Spain exceeded 30 degrees days ago. These are mainly cases of influenza A which are due, according to Dr. Brown, to the fact that vaccine that has been inoculated this year does not completely protect against the subtype that is circulating and because by traveling so late in immunizations, especially in the older population, they begin to lose effect.

Chronic pathologies

The doctor explains that some of the patients most affected by the viral rebound are those with chronic pathologies and that, due to the isolation caused by the pandemic, they have a weakened immunity. Likewise, the specialist explains that the saturation of primary and specialized care is causing people “with banal pathology to wait many hours in the emergency room because they want see a doctor in person and not receive telephone attention.

In turn, the doctor Jose Maria Molerofamily doctor and spokesperson for infectious diseases of the Semfyc medical society, points out that at this time in adults, especially in older than 60 yearsthe general trend in respiratory infections and influenza is still upward, but in the youngest is stabilizing or even begins to decline. It remains to be seen if the trend is consolidated in the coming days and the incidence decreases, also reaching those over 60 and children.

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