BEIJING – Global social exclusion rules targeting coronavirus have forced flu infection rates to record low levels, showing early, indicating that the measures have an unprecedented impact on disease to take another.
In China, where the first large-scale suspension measures began, new reports of diseases including mumps, measles and some sexually transmitted diseases have declined significantly, although cases of influenza have seen the sharpest fall. strong.
Full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak
Infections reported monthly by the county health ministry have dropped by more than 90 percent since the start of the lockout, from an average of about 290,000 cases a month to 23,000.
The recent flu report of Canada’s flu surveillance system also reported “exceptionally low levels,” as did other countries that report weekly flu surveillance statistics including the -United Kingdom and Australia.
In its most recent weekly report, South Korea’s infectious disease portal reported a 83 percent reduction in cases from the same period a year earlier.
“We have seen the lowest admission rates of other viral infections for this time of year,” said Ben Marais, an infectious disease expert at the University of Sydney and a clinician in the children’s ward at the Hospital. Westmead.
“We usually have full halls of kids with whey chests at this time of year, in the winter … but these halls are essentially empty,” he said.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that there are about 3-5 million serious illnesses and up to 500,000 deaths a year linked to seasonal flu globally.
Passed by us
While experts say the fall in flu infections has reduced stress on healthcare systems and reduced the number of flu fatalities, there are also concerns that the unabated reduction A previous case may have a negative impact on immunity levels in subsequent seasons.
“It could be that if we don’t have infections this season there will be more vulnerable people next season, that’s definitely something we’re going to have to monitor closely,” Marais said. “It looks like this season has passed us by.”
Low numbers of some infectious diseases may also be linked to reduced reporting rates.
The WHO said in a recent report that influenza surveillance figures should be “interpreted with caution,” given the limited capacity for reporting in some countries during the pandemic.
Download the NBC News app for full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak
The impact of the lock on other diseases with a longer onset period, including HIV and Tuberculosis, may not be clear for years to come.
In China, new cases of mumps have decreased by about 70 percent and measles by more than 90 percent since locking.
There have been an average of about 7,500 cases of gonorrhea reported per month since the lockout, down from 12,100 a month in 2019.
Hepatitis, which last year infected about 1.2 million Chinese people according to the reporting system, was declining by more than 20 percent in the same period.
Follow NBC HEALTH on Twitter and Facebook.