Virologist predicted in Russia without a new flu

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Russia may not face a new strain of influenza until the end of the year, Pavel Volchkov, head of the MIPT genomic engineering laboratory, told Izvestia on August 11. According to him, the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus played into the hands of the Russians, due to which the traditional source of seasonal flu, China, closed its borders.

“Seasonal flu usually does not pass us by. We have been observing this pattern for the last decades. He is tightly attached to migratory flows. But there is still no air connection with China, and our flu usually comes from China. This is an unprecedented situation because so far there have not been such tough global quarantine measures. And I can expect that we can stay flu-free this year, ”the scientist said.

The zone in southern China in the Guangzhou and Hong Kong regions is fueling the world with new flu strains, new isolates and new serotype combinations, he said.

At the same time, in terms of the timing of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in Russia, it may overlap with the arrival of old strains of influenza. However, this should not cause serious problems for the population, because the majority have developed immunity to them, Volchkov noted.

The Russians will face the already familiar strains of the influenza virus, as usual, in September and October, the virologist predicted. However, in general, the influenza virus component will be low this fall.

“I am not sure that the transport connection will be intensified by the end of the year. They opened with Britain in a reduced volume, with Turkey, with Tanzania. But nevertheless, there won’t be a large volume of travel this year, ”said the head of the genomic engineering laboratory.

the great Wall of China

Pavel Volchkov is sure that at least until the end of the year China will not open its borders.

“In China, about 85 thousand cases of Covid-19 are officially declared. But even if this figure turned out to be 10 times more, which is unlikely, then one million cases is not even 0.1% of the Chinese population, “the virologist emphasized.

In his opinion, China will open its borders only after it vaccinates most of the population. In this regard, the country may have to use more than its own vaccine. The fact is that 1.5 billion doses is a colossal amount that no one has released in such a timely manner, the expert explained.

“Mostly they will use their own vaccine. But, perhaps, in the form of a test, a couple of neighbors will be launched in a reduced volume. For example, Russian. I don’t think China will want to launch an American vaccine into its market. Several vaccines were made quite quickly in China. But they are still in the testing stage, some of them are already at the stage of scaling up production, ”Volchkov said.

Battle of immunities

Immunity from standard flu will not fight the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and vice versa, the virologist said. “If you are immune to the flu virus, it doesn’t protect you from Covid-19 in any way. Conversely, the specific immunity formed against Covid-19 will not protect you from the influenza virus in any way, ”the scientist noted.

In this regard, the expert warned about the danger of panic in the fall. “Since everyone was burnt in milk during Covid-19, now everyone is blowing water. And even a slight increase in temperature people will tend to blame SARS-CoV-2, ”said Volchkov.

However, there are a lot of viruses, for example, there are picornaviruses, rhinoviruses, enteroviruses. At the same time, without detection, it is rather difficult to distinguish them from each other, and from the usual influenza virus, emphasized the head of the MIPT genomic engineering laboratory.

“The first symptoms are common, as with any respiratory infection. This is a slight fever, nasal congestion, sore throat. In the near future, it is necessary to prescribe an administrative protocol of actions and distribute it, ”the scientist concluded.

The day before, on August 10, Russian President Vladimir Putin instructed the government until October 1 to provide funding for influenza vaccination up to 60% of the country’s population and up to 75% of people at risk.

On the same day, the head of the Russian Ministry of Health, Mikhail Murashko, said that 50% of the volume of influenza vaccine from the plans for this year will be delivered by August 31, the rest in September-October.

In particular, on August 11 it became known that in the Murmansk region the vaccination of labor collectives against influenza will begin on September 1.

Meanwhile, on August 11, the first vaccine on the market for the new coronavirus infection SARS-CoV-2 was registered in Russia. The vaccine based on the adenovirus vector was named “Sputnik V” by analogy with the launch of the first artificial Earth satellite in 1957.

All information on the situation with the coronavirus is available on the websites of stopcoronavirus.rf and access vsem.rf. Coronavirus hotline: 8 (800) 2000-112. In addition, information is available under the hashtag #WeWeTogether.

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