Monday , October 3 2022

You know about the flu season, but did you know about the gonorrhea season?


Gonorrhea caused by bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae, according to a new document, is a summer illness.
Image: Oregon State University (Flickr)

Like the clock mechanism, the flu virus puts its ugly head every day and makes our lives regrettable. But flu is not the only germ to enjoy a specific season, according to a new edition released this week by PLOS Pathogens. In my opinion, each infectious disease, including poliomyelitis, gonorrhea and even HIV, is seasonal, but not necessarily the same.

In recent years, ecologist Micaela Martinez of the Department of Environmental Health Sciences at the University of Columbia's Department of Environmental Health has been particularly interested in understanding the spread of certain diseases. It was a passion that began with her work of childhood ailments, which usually appear as a seasonal epidemic such as measles, chicken pox and polio.

"What I found out is that there is no special time during the year when all the diseases are spread and during the year they are all gone. Every infectious disease is the year of infection, and each infection has its own season," said Gizmodo Martinez. "And for some diseases where outbreaks are really explosive, you can almost set up a calendar."

The most horrible calendar in the world.
Illustration: Micaela Martinez (PLOS pathogens)

Indeed, in her latest paper, Martinez found the seasonal character of each infectious disease with which she was able to explore any major research. The list of illnesses in her calendar, total of 69, includes those caused by parasites, such as dracululose (otherwise known as Guinea worm disease); those caused by bacteria such as Lyme; and viral diseases such as chicken pox. Martinez also studied acute infections that usually last for a short time, such as influenza, and chronic infections that have been hidden for years without causing symptoms, such as hepatitis B and C.

The causes of illness in some cases are more visible than others. For example, lime is distributed with a woman's bite of mite, especially from ticks in the immature or nymph stage, during their life cycle. And in the United States, teenage mites begin to appear massively during the summer, which is also the peak of the Lime season. For flu, winter weather usually maintains dry and cold air that helps a man stay alive longer and can even reduce our natural protection against it.

But there are still many other diseases for which we do not know why they are seasonal.

Initially, Martinez planned to see only acute infections, hoping that the seasonal nature of the chronic infection would not be visible. For example, someone with genital herpes does not stop herpes; Instead, their symptoms seem to come in random form, depending on how active the germ is inside the body. But when Martinez expanded her search, she was surprised that even those infections had their own seasonal clock (with herpes, the symptoms seem to be more common in the spring)

One of the chronic infections that Martinez emphasized is lumbar rosé, caused by the same virus responsible for chicken pox. The wine behind the shingles hides in our nerve cells after we recover from chickenpox, and for decades it reappears, causing a painful illness. Such new cases seem to come together in the spring and summer. And previous studies by Martinez and others have suggested that the climate itself, especially the amount of sunlight, could help restore viral nerve cells.

"It's possible that the UV effect significantly suppresses localized immunity, which is usually the virus tested in these neurons," she said. On the other hand, it could be something completely different about spring and summer, which affects the protection of our body against the virus.

Martinez hopes her paper has a greater interest in answering these and other issues, as well as studying seasonality as a major component of infectious diseases in general. Many bacteria are surprisingly few, so you do not know when they are maximally and why. Most of the time, our study focuses only on a specific part of the world that can direct the image. In the case of influenza, for example, in the autumn and winter, it enters the Northern Hemisphere, while in the spring and summer it is the cooler areas of the southern hemisphere.

This knowledge, apart from helping someone plan the world's worst beefcake calendar, could have serious consequences for public health. For example, anti-herpes viruses can reduce the duration of symptoms and reduce the risk of transmission during an active outbreak, so physicians would be worth getting more drugs during the peak season. On the other hand, Polio can be eliminated globally, thanks to mass vaccination programs. But getting rid of these diseases that could be prevented would be easier if we knew precisely when to vaccinate a particular place in the world (polio usually is a summer illness for reasons that are still unclear).

"It all depends on the fact that the information is smarter about how to treat infections, especially in the case of chronic diseases, and to prevent acute infection epidemics," said Martinez.

[PLOS Pathogens]
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