Catching the flu can be more dangerous than being infected with Covid-19 – NiT

Catching the flu can be more dangerous than being infected with Covid-19

Some experts believe that the coronavirus can already be seen as a seasonal and endemic disease. Others argue the opposite.

Symptoms are similar.

After two years of anguish and uncertainty regarding the risks associated with Covid-19, researchers come to the conclusion that catching the flu can be more serious.

In recent months, when the spread of the disease began to slow down after the explosion in the first months of 2022 in the number of infected with the Ómicron variant, the comparison between the two infectious pathologies has been frequent.

After all, when is Covid-19 going to be seen as a flu? The answer that everyone wants to read has already been given in the United States. “Yes, we are there. I believe the day has come”, risked responding to NPR radio Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease specialist at the University of California, San Francisco.

Gandhi added that, Currently, most people [nos EUA] have sufficient immunity — gained through vaccination, infection, or both — to protect them against the most serious forms of the disease. She and other researchers came to this conclusion following an analysis of the behavior of the Ómicron variant, which appears to be less severe than previous strains. So, unless a more aggressive variant emerges, the threat that Covid-19 poses to most people has diminished considerably. This means that can live their daily life “the way they usually live with endemic seasonal flu”he explained.

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The opinion of specialists in infectious diseases regarding the risk is not at all consensual. Gustavo Tato Borges, president of the National Association of Public Health Physicians explained to NiT that other experts say that “the risk of hospitalization and mortality is much higher, especially for the most vulnerable“. Anthony Fauci, White House medical adviser, and director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is one of the names that has publicly expressed his disagreement. The doctor disagreed with Gandhi’s position arguing that: “the severity of one compared to the other is quite pronounced. And the potential to kill too.”

The debate on the mortality rate led to another discussion that Gustavo Tato Borges has already called “the old question” – the accounting of deaths by or with Covid-19. Gandhi and other researchers argue that the number of daily deaths attributed to viral infection is exaggerated, “because many of the deaths attributed to the disease were caused by other pathologies”.

“No one is yet sure if Covid-19 can enter the ‘risk category’ of the flu at this stage”, concludes the Portuguese specialist in public health. And he continues: “There are, however, good signs of lower current risk compared to other times of the pandemic”, highlights Tato Borges. A scenario that is due to several cumulative factors such as the protection given by vaccines, non-pharmacological measures (protective masks, hand hygiene and social distance) and the drugs used in the treatment “which are increasingly effective and can help to combat the severity of the disease”, concludes the doctor.

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What can you do to protect yourself?

Seasonal flu has been virtually non-existent for the past two years. And if many argue that it was simply because the coronavirus took its place, the truth is that the individual protection measures adopted contributed significantly to the decrease in infections by the influenza viruses.

To prevent the flu from knocking at your door this year, there are some habits you can adopt to prevent yourself. One of the simplest ways is to get vaccinated before the seasonal season of this epidemic. Washing your hands frequently is also another behavior that can help you escape the flu. To this you can also add the protection of masks when you are indoors with many people. However, it is also possible to protect yourself from these viruses by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Eating a balanced diet is half the battle to strengthen the immune system.

So that you know the best nutrients that can help you get stronger — and fight viruses — Bárbara de Almeida Araújo shared a list of the six properties that will help you to strengthen the immune system and the main foods where you can find it. them.

Click on the gallery to see them.