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What dangerous disease has overtaken covid in Ukraine and for whom it is deadly: infectious disease experts tell

Maryna PetikSociety
In Ukraine, the epidemic of influenza A H1N1, it is dangerous with complications

The incidence of influenza A H1N1 is growing in Ukraine. This season, it has overtaken the coronavirus in the number of cases and is spreading rapidly. Experts say that this strain is dangerous for the elderly and people with chronic diseases. Fatalities have already been reported.

Schools are being quarantined

Schools are being quarantined in Ukraine. The epidemic threshold has been exceeded in Zhytomyr, Khmelnytsky, and Chernivtsi regions. The number of infected people is growing in Chernihiv, Vinnytsia, Lviv, Rivne, and Ternopil regions.

Kyiv is already considering closing schools to prevent an increase in the number of cases.

What dangerous disease has overtaken covid in Ukraine and for whom it is deadly: infectious disease experts tell

In the capital, 11,305 people fell ill last week, which is 2,244 more cases than the week before. If the numbers continue to grow, Kyiv may have to switch students to distance learning.

In the Kyiv region, 32 schools in three districts - Boryspil, Fastiv and Brovary - have already been closed, and children are studying at home.

Schools in Sumy and Uzhhorod have been closed since Tuesday. Parents are urged to keep their children at home until they are fully recovered.

Flu has overtaken the coronavirus

Alla Myronenko, a professor and employee of the Kyiv City Center for Disease Prevention at the Ministry of Health of Ukraine, says that this season the A H1N1 flu strain prevails in Ukraine. It has overtaken the coronavirus.

What dangerous disease has overtaken covid in Ukraine and for whom it is deadly: infectious disease experts tell

"This flu affects children and young people the most. It also affects the elderly and those with chronic diseases. While children develop a fever and then go away, in the elderly it turns into pneumonia. The flu causes serious complications. Unfortunately, we already have deaths," says Myronenko.

This strain is characterized by high fever, up to 40 degrees, weakness, and headaches. A dry cough begins.

While in mid-January there were five fatalities in the country, from January 22 to January 28, there were already 42. All the deceased had not been vaccinated against influenza or coronavirus.

COVID-19 is causing more deaths

From January 29 to February 4, 13 deaths from influenza were recorded. And from COVID-19 - 28 cases. The same trend was observed in previous weeks - the number of deaths from coronavirus is higher than from influenza.

Serhiy Fedorenko, chief physician of the Lviv Regional Infectious Diseases Hospital, says that although the flu prevails in terms of the number of cases this season, the coronavirus is still in the lead in terms of complications and mortality.

"Unfortunately, after the world announced the end of the COVID-19 pandemic and a full-scale war began in Ukraine, and people's attention shifted, the number of people getting vaccinated has seriously decreased. But the virus hasn't gone away, it continues to circulate in nature. People's immunity has decreased. In addition, fewer people are seeking help from doctors, they are treated at home, and are admitted to hospitals on the 10th-12th day, when the disease is very advanced. These are all elderly people with serious chronic diseases. They also get fewer flu shots and seek help later, but the flu's mortality rate is much lower than that of the coronavirus," Fedorenko explained.

What dangerous disease has overtaken covid in Ukraine and for whom it is deadly: infectious disease experts tell

Cases of "Jenny" found

Doctors also note that a new type of coronavirus, Omicron, has been detected in Ukraine - Jenny. 42 cases have been recorded in 12 regions. The highest number of cases is in Sumy region - 8 cases, Lviv - 6, Cherkasy - 5. There are 4 cases in Kyiv and Kyiv region. Only one person among those who fell ill was vaccinated against coronavirus.

Professor Myronenko predicts that we are approaching the peak of the epidemic, which will last at least until March. "Most likely, the epidemic will start to decline in the second week of March," says the infectious disease specialist. But in any case, the flu virus will prevail.

She advises avoiding crowded places, and for the elderly and people with chronic diseases to wear masks.

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