DYNAMICS OF CHILDHOOD RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC: THE EFFECT OF QUARANTINE АND BEYOND
Monitoring epidemic processes and the dynamics of the spread of infectious diseases is essential for predicting their distribution and effective planning in healthcare. The importance of studying seasonal trends in the spread of respiratory viral infections and the specific effects of non-pharmaceutical interventions in nationwide scales and the use of available vaccines stand out even more in the context of the coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic. Even if the dynamics of pediatric respiratory viral infections show some variation at the national and local levels, depending on health regulation, respiratory viral pathogens follow a typical pattern of incidence. Therefore, we hypothesize that anticipated reduction of the incidence of common respiratory viral infections would undoubtedly exert positive effects, such as ease of burdening healthcare that combates the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we suspect a shift in familiar seasonal characteristics of common respiratory viral infections. We also speculate that strict long-term limitations of the natural spread of respiratory viral infections can lead to the development of hard-to-predict epidemiological outliers. Additionally, the tricky balance between humanity’s natural impulse to return to normalcy and control the new and still dynamically evolving infection could lead to new threats from old and well-known pathogens. Finally, we hypothesize that the absence of regular influenza virus circulation may lead to a high mismatch rate and a significant reduction in flu vaccine efficacy.
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