, Beijing, December 12 (Shao Meng) In mid-December, 22-year-old Zeng Lin (pseudonym) got influenza A, which was the second time she got the flu this year. Two months ago, she just had mycoplasma pneumonia and was infected with the new crown virus at the beginning of the year. "I've had a fever four or five times this year, and so have my children." Zeng Lin said.

There are not a few people who are in a similar situation to Zeng Lin. This year, there has been a high incidence of various respiratory infections such as influenza, new coronavirus infection, respiratory syncytial virus infection, and mycoplasma infection. Questions also arise: what are the dangers of frequently "hitting" respiratory tract infectious diseases? Does it weaken the body's immunity? What effective measures do we have?

It is not uncommon to have multiple infections with respiratory diseases

Hu Yang, deputy director of the Department of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine of Shanghai Pulmonary Hospital, told Chinanews that this year, he has encountered many patients who have been infected with respiratory diseases many times in his clinical practice. "I've had two colds myself." Hu Yang said. A pediatrician from a tertiary hospital in Beijing also told that among the children he recently treated, compared with infants and young children, "older children" of school age from seven to teens are more likely to have recurrent infections, and some children have fever two or three times a month.

In Hu Yang's view, repeated infections with respiratory diseases are common. The new coronavirus is constantly mutating, and there are many subtypes of influenza itself, such as the H3N2 subtype and the Victoria lineage of influenza B. "So, it's very common to be infected with one and then another, and there are syncytial virus, adenovirus, rhinovirus, etc., which can also be mixed with infection."

Jiang Qingwu, an epidemiologist and professor at the School of Public Health of Fudan University, said in an interview with that the immunity level of the population in the past was formed by natural infection and vaccines, and the number of people vaccinated against influenza in the past two years was lower than in previous years.

On the afternoon of December 12, parents and children waiting in the outpatient department of the Department of Internal Medicine of Beijing Children's Hospital. Photo by Shao Meng

"In fact, the virus is still the same as before, and after this year's transmission, if the influenza virus does not mutate significantly, its spread may return to the pre-epidemic state next year." Jiang Qingwu said.

Recurrent infections in a short period of time may affect immune function

Is it harmful to the body to frequently "hit" respiratory tract infectious diseases? An immunology expert told Chinanews that repeated respiratory tract infections in a short period of time, repeated damage to the respiratory mucosa, and even re-infection and injury before it is too late to repair, will definitely damage the immune barrier and immune function of the human respiratory mucosa. However, the long-term harm of recurrent respiratory infections to human health and immunity is still inconclusive and sufficient data to explain.

"The infection of the disease will definitely have some impact on the immune system, etc., but there are not many specific indicators to measure the specific harm, and the long-term effects need to be further observed. It is still necessary to seek medical attention in time and recover as soon as possible. At present, there are corresponding special drugs for influenza and new crown, and the effect is obvious, more and more drugs have entered the medical insurance, and some drugs are also easy to obtain in online outpatient clinics. In addition, it is necessary to pay appropriate attention to other diseases caused by influenza infection to minimize infection and reduce complications. Jiang Qingwu said.

Hu Yang believes that generally speaking, repeated infections must cause some harm to the body, but whether there is harm to the immune system mainly depends on the patient's own immune function. "The function of the immune system is constantly enhancing from childhood to adulthood, and some people are infected once and it is conducive to stimulating their immune system to produce antibodies, but some people have low immune function and underlying diseases, and the infection may be aggravated once, and the immunity will be worse."

Jiang Qingwu also pointed out that everyone's condition is different, and many people may not react to repeated respiratory diseases, but some people may also have a great reaction. The probability of infection causing illness varies from person to person, and doctors and specialists are watching.

Experts recommend returning to school after a full recovery

Talking about how to prevent frequent "hit" respiratory infections, Jiang Qingwu has repeatedly emphasized "vaccination", including influenza vaccines, new crown vaccines, etc. The "Work Plan for the Recent Vaccination of Key Populations" issued by the Comprehensive Group of the Joint Prevention and Control Mechanism of the State Council in July mentioned that the types of vaccines and vaccination plans will be updated in a timely manner according to the progress of vaccine research and development, review and approval, combined with the epidemic situation and virus mutations.

Data map: An elderly man receives a flu vaccine. Photo by Ge Mengli

Jiang Qingwu also suggested that some effective prevention and control measures in the past should also be actively advocated, such as washing hands after returning from going out; During the epidemic season, wear masks in indoor public places and public transportation; medical and public health departments have strengthened prevention, control and surveillance; The health supervision department should do a good job in the management of fever clinics, analyze and publish the incidence information in a timely manner, etc., to protect the health of the population to the greatest extent.

The above-mentioned immunology experts suggest that you should pay attention to recuperation after illness, and you must wait for the respiratory tract infection to completely recover before returning to work and school, so as to avoid repeated or recurrent infection. It is recommended to improve immunity, especially innate immunity, including comprehensive, balanced and adequate nutrition, regular work and rest, not staying up late, exercising scientifically and appropriately, keeping warm from the cold, avoiding stress, and maintaining a healthy and optimistic attitude. When the weather is cold, reduce going out, avoid going to crowded places, reduce gatherings, and pay attention to open windows for ventilation.

In addition, if necessary, immunomodulators, as well as traditional Chinese medicine or traditional Chinese medicine to improve immunity can be appropriately applied, and for some populations, stem cell or immune cell infusion can also be considered to regulate immunity. If an infection occurs, it is necessary to carry out scientific medical treatment, and do not abuse drugs such as antibiotics.

In view of the problem of repeated infections of school-age children, Jiang Qingwu believes that it is unrealistic to wear masks throughout class, and when the weather is not too cold, you can open the windows for ventilation and extend the recess time appropriately to ensure that there is a certain amount of ventilation indoors. He stressed that during the season of transmission of respiratory infectious diseases, it is necessary to do a good job of morning temperature checks, use infrared measurement of body temperature, etc., so that children with fever symptoms can rest at home and minimize infection in schools. In addition, schools should be cautious in adopting measures such as suspension and class suspension. (ENDS)