An epidemic of influenza and SARS begins in St. Petersburg, warned December 15, head of the health committee Dmitry Lisovets. According to him, more than 90% of patients are infected with swine flu, 3-4% – with other subtypes of this virus.

At the same time, researcher of coronavirus statistics Alexei Kupriyanov draws Note that the incidence of COVID-19 is on the rise again in the city. In addition, the Ministry of Health informed on the spread of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in Russia. Doctors call the situation “tridemic.”

“Paper” I learned from infectious disease specialist Vladimir Nikiforov whether to expect “tridemics” in St. Petersburg and how dangerous the flu and covid waves are.

Doctor of Medical Sciences, Head of the Department of Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology, Russian National Research Medical University named after N.I. N.I. Pirogov

– In 2022, the coronavirus faded into the background, but during this time there were two waves of growth in diseases – in February and September. Should we expect another wave of coronavirus in Russia in the coming months?

– The incidence will periodically jump. Such a traumatic volume, which was in the past two years, is not worth waiting for. But fluctuations – more or less sick – will, of course, take into account the weather, autumn or winter periods. But these will be temporary changes.

What strains of coronavirus are currently spreading?

“Now there are a huge number of strains and variants of coronavirus strains. But in general, everything that at the moment “is in circulation” is “omicron”.

Initially, there was a Wuhan strain, then there was a “delta”, and now an “omicron” with low mortality. According to the laws of epidemiology, the virus weakens over time. In the future, we can see the degradation of COVID-19 to the usual SARS.

– Has the coronavirus infection become easier this year?

– Any infection, in principle, is not interested in the mountain of corpses. She is a parasite. When its owner dies, the virus dies with it. Nature itself destroys strains that cause deaths. Then he creates strains that do not kill their host. Infections benefit many patients, but not severe ones, so that they are mobile and infect each other. This is what the coronavirus is striving for – maximum spread, high contagiousness and no deaths.

– Recently, the head of the Ministry of Health, Mikhail Murashko, warned of the rapid spread of SARS. Swine flu has been detected in almost all Russian regions. At the same time, in 2020-2021, people had less flu and SARS. Why are old infections now more active?

– Everything is very simple. One very smart person, Mikhail Lomonosov, deduced the law of conservation of energy. If something is lost in one place, then the same amount will be added in another place. When covid appeared, it pushed aside all the other viruses that “graze in the same field”, meaning in our body. Accordingly, when the covid began to weaken and lose ground, those viruses that he had first pushed back returned to this “field”.

If we put it all together, we get the following situation: more covid – less SARS, less covid – more SARS. Now the covid relative to previous years is leaving, the incidence of influenza is growing.

In addition, during covid, our herd immunity sank. And the flu is trying to take advantage of this, so he came with renewed vigor. Everything is natural.

Of course, this was also influenced by the fact that we previously had security measures, most of which have now been canceled. Plus, the mask was more effective just for the flu than for covid. That is, the security measures of the past years hit primarily the incidence of influenza. Covid is less affected by the mask regime. As soon as the regime was canceled, the flu immediately occupied its former niche.

– Some doctors warn of the beginning in Europe and the USA of a “tridemic”: the simultaneous spread of RSV, coronavirus and flu. Is a “tridemic” beginning in Russia now, too? Or while there is a danger of the spread of only two viruses – influenza and covid?

— Covid and flu conflict with each other. They have one point of application – the lungs, upper and lower respiratory tract. They have some competition. At the moment, these co-infections influenza plus covid are no more than 5% of all patients with acute respiratory viral infections. But in people who are infected with both covid and influenza at the same time, the disease is much more severe. But so far there have been few such observations.

And in the end, we have vaccines for both flu and covid. Although I have to admit that not all are graftedwho could. And it is those who have not been vaccinated who suffer the most infections.

And RSV never left us. Now there is not a very large percentage of patients. Whether we should expect a jump is hard to say. There is no vaccine for respiratory syncytial virus. This infection is dangerous because it can cause pneumonia.

Is it possible to understand what exactly a person got sick with: flu or coronavirus?

No, they have exactly the same symptoms. Self-diagnosis and self-treatment is not worth it.

The only thing I can say is that as soon as the patient has a fever and signs of intoxication appear, you need to calmly go to bed and drink more fluids. It is possible and necessary to reduce the temperature only if it is above 38.3-38.5 degrees.

– Can it be argued that the most dangerous thing now is still to get sick with the coronavirus? Or due to the fact that our immunity has lost the habit of SARS and influenza, they are more difficult to tolerate?

– Both are bad. And everything together is bad, and after covid flu, and flu after covid. What is more dangerous – it is impossible to say for sure now.

– How can you protect yourself?

– All autumn there was a conversation about the need to be vaccinated against both the coronavirus and the flu. It’s a bit late now. But with a strong desire to take root, it is still possible.

Also, no one canceled the masks in public places and indoors.

– When can we expect the peak incidence of influenza and SARS?

“That I cannot say. Somewhere the incidence is already decreasing, somewhere it is growing. Some regions of Russia have already passed the peak, someone will only pass it.

– If our bodies get used to the flu again, can we expect a smaller surge of the disease next year?

– Of course not. The nature of the flu is such that it is new every year, each time our immune system must adapt to it. Hoping that the flu will stop tormenting us is in vain. Rather, something new will appear. It is quite possible that “bird flu” will soon come to us.