The covid virus is in retreat, the influenza virus has displaced it

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▲ According to the samples taken from patients, there are few cases of covid-19, said the specialist.Photo Jose Antonio Lopez

Rocio Gonzalez Alvarado

Newspaper La Jornada
Sunday November 20, 2022, p. 26

The influenza virus returned to its privileges in this cold season and has begun to displace the covid-19 virus, which is in retreat, said Jorge Ochoa, director of Health Services at the Mexico City Ministry of Health.

In interview with the daythe public servant explained that both viruses compete and fight to survive in what have been called ecological nichesbecause in the two years of the pandemic there was a predominance of covid-19 and it exceeded that of influenza, in such a way that in 2020 a single case was registered, but now it is happening exactly the opposite.

The specialist added that from October to date, 198 cases of influenza have been identified only in the city’s hospital network, not including those of the IMSS, ISSSTE and the private sector, while in years prior to the pandemic there was a record of 20 cases on average throughout the season.

He assured that it is not a more serious virus, since the same H1N1 and H3N2 variants prevail, as well as type A, which generally affects children under five years of age and older adults, for which there is a vaccine, for which One million 434 thousand 985 doses have been applied, representing 60 percent of the 2 million 458 thousand 699 established as a goal for March of next year.

The specialist considered that after the confinement and the low temperatures, the increase in acute respiratory infections is natural, of which there is a timely record, since after the strong phase of the pandemic, epidemiological surveillance has been intensified.

We continue to take many rapid tests on all symptomatic cases and we do another PCR test on those who come out negative for covid, and those are the ones who come out with influenza.

He explained that 87 percent of the patients that have been identified this season are H3N2, while 2 percent are H1N1 and the rest, 11 percent, are from the A virus.

He commented that respiratory diseases have had an increase of 3 percent each month, but in December and January a rebound is expected, so the vaccination campaign is intensified so that the most vulnerable population has sufficient antibodies.

While the influenza virus advances, the covid virus continues to withdraw, since between the 200 and 300 tests that are carried out per day only 5 percent come out positive, which has led to only 2 percent of the beds allocated to patients in hospitals are occupied, said the official.

In addition to vaccination, the same health recommendations are maintained to avoid contagion with any of the respiratory diseases.

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