The whole history of mankind is life side by side with bacteria, parasites and viruses. They cause infectious diseases, that is, transmitted through various kinds of contacts: through the blood, as, hepatitis B and C, with insect bites like malaria, by airborne droplets like flu, tuberculosis and measles. Since the end of last year, a new type of coronavirus, 2019-nCoV, joined the group of the latter. The lack of knowledge and therefore the weak predictability of the new enemy is understandably alarming. It’s important that it doesn’t panic, since stress itself affects the immune system, doctors warn. Because of this, our basic defense against infections is weakened.
In order to be less nervous, experts advise, firstly, to take preventive measures (observe hygiene rules, visit places less crowded). Secondly, to face the facts: in fact, we have long been cohabiting with infections that take incomparably more lives than coronavirus (according to currently available data).
Moreover, infectious diseases themselves, which until the beginning of the 20th century were the main killers of people, have now given way to another leader.
– The vast majority of people today die not at all due to infections. And because of the so-called NCDs – noncommunicable diseases, – said Artem Gil, professor at the Higher School of Health Management at Sechenov University, told KP. – Among such NCDs, cardiovascular diseases (coronary heart disease, heart attacks, strokes), cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes are leading causes of death. In general, NCDs account for at least 60–65% of deaths worldwide. And in– 90%.
Such diseases are not transmitted from person to person. And while their distribution is largely dependent on the people themselves. From our way of life. Judge for yourself: according to the World Health Organization, about 9 million people a year die from coronary heart disease (CHD), and about 6 million die from strokes. While the deadliest infection – tuberculosis – kills up to 1.3 million patients. Moreover, in the case of coronary heart disease and strokes, we essentially drive ourselves into the grave. It has been proven that the main risk factors for the development of these diseases are smoking, a sedentary lifestyle, overeating and alcohol abuse.
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Most important for Russians are HIV and tuberculosis
– Among the infectious diseases for Russia, the most relevant and dangerous are HIV and tuberculosis, – says a professor at the Graduate School of Health Management at Sechenovskiy University Artem Gil. – The prevalence of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis strains is increasing. Because of this, the effectiveness of treatment remains at a rather low level. Tuberculosis now affects people regardless of their socio-economic status.
At the same time, HIV infection in our country has gone beyond the limits of traditional risk groups (drug addicts, women of easy virtue) and spreads mainly through heterosexual sexual contacts, remind infectious disease specialists. Therefore, doctors advise against neglecting HIV testing. This can be done for free at the AIDS prevention and control centers that operate in each region. Full list of addresses – on the official portal www.o-spide.ru
Medical TV presenter, ex-head doctor of the Kremlin Hospital, cardiologist Alexander Myasnikov:
– From the complications of influenza in the world, up to 650 thousand people die every year, measles – more than 120 thousand, from cervical cancer, which develops due to the human papillomavirus (HPV) – 270 thousand. Vaccines for these diseases are, tested and safe. However, the Russians are still in no hurry to do these really necessary vaccinations.
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