Cold, Covid and Norovirus: Why are we all getting so sick?
Are you among the 4.3 million people who contracted Covid in the past week? If not, maybe you’ve been hit by the norovirus or the so-called “super cold” that also seems to be making the rounds?
The latest data from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) shows calls to the NHS 111 telephone service for cold, flu and cough cases are increasing across the country, with ‘influenza positivity’ rising.
These ailments fall under the term “supercolds,” a term used to describe people with Covid-like symptoms who do not test positive for the virus.
Until recently, Covid-19 infections were also rising sharply, with 6.39% of the population, or one in 16 people, becoming infected in the week ended March 25, according to data from Office for National Statistics. The vast majority of these cases (82.2%) were thought to be caused by the highly transmissible subvariant Omicron BA.2.
And outbreaks of norovirus – a highly contagious pathogen that causes vomiting and diarrhea – are also on the rise in England. The increase was originally reported in educational institutions, with 48% more incidents reported to the UKHSA than would normally be expected. There has also been a significant increase in nursing homes.
Why are diseases on the rise?
dr Ollie Hart, a GP at Sloan Medical Center in Sheffield, recounted YorkshireLive that his “gut feeling” is that the surge is linked to the end of Covid restrictions in England after 18 months of social distancing and mask-wearing.
“People are mixing and spreading bugs that they haven’t had in a long time,” he said. “We’ve been protected from that for the last few years and our immune systems aren’t quite used to it.”
A similar outbreak of “super cold” was reported in September last year in connection with the return of schools and the arrival of autumn.
“The whole system has been thrown off balance by the fact that we’re social distancing and wearing masks and kids haven’t had that immunity in the last year or so,” said Professor Ronald Eccles, former director of the Common Cold Center at Cardiff university The guard.
How to deal with a “super cold”.
Isolation is not a legal requirement if you have a cold, cough or flu-like symptoms. But if you could stay away from others, that would be a “good idea,” according to Thea van de Mortel, a professor of nursing at Griffith University in south-east Queensland, Australia The preservation.
“In general, you are contagious until your symptoms go away and should stay away until you recover,” she wrote. “Passing your cold on to others can mean unnecessary Covid testing for you.”
Like coronaviruses, cold viruses are “transmitted by touching the eyes, mouth, nose or food with virus-contaminated hands, by direct contact with others, or by inhaling contaminated aerosols,” van de Mortel explained.
As with Covid, washing hands and wearing masks “can keep germs at bay,” said Conall Watson, consultant epidemiologist at the UK Health Security Agency. Geographic Positioning System generally advise patients with cold-like symptoms to stay at home to limit the spread.
https://www.theweek.co.uk/news/science-health/954464/why-reports-of-super-cold-on-the-rise Cold, Covid and Norovirus: Why are we all getting so sick?