THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON THE DYNAMICS OF THE EPIDEMIC PROCESS IN SOME VACCINE-UNAVOIDABLE RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS
M. Kirilova, E. Ivanova and Ts. Paunov
ABSTRACT:Introduction: The newly emerged, at the end of 2019, SARS-CoV-2 respiratory infection spread rapidly worldwide, affecting all countries with severe and high mortality amongst risk groups. The burden of the disease on the health systems and the socio - economic consequences have led to the imposition of restrictive measures that had an impact over the spread of the respiratory infections without mass immunoprophylaxis - chickenpox and scarlet fever.
Purpose: To trace the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the dynamics of epidemic processes in the respiratory infections of chickenpox and scarlet fever in the Varna region.
Materials and methods: Official data from the weekly bulletins of the Regional Health Inspectorate – Varna, data from the single information portal for COVID-19 at the Ministry of Health, data from National Center for Infectious and Parasitic Diseases for acute infectious diseases in Bulgaria. Epidemiologic, mathematical, statistical, graphic and other methods have been used in the process this information.
Results: In the pre-pandemic period until 2020, the morbidity of chickenpox and scarlet fever in Varna region ranged from 323,73%ооо (2018) to 911.61%ооо (2019) for chickenpox and from 72.95%ооо (2017) to 117.77%ооо (2019) for scarlet fever, with typical for these infections epidemiological characteristics - winter - spring seasonality, affecting the age groups of 1-4 years and 5-9 years. Within a two years period since the beginning of the pandemic of COVID -19 there is a dramatic decrease in the morbidity of chickenpox (131.45%ооо) and scarlet fever (5.1%ооо) for 2021.
Conclusion: The positive effect of the restrictive measures on the spread of respiratory infections may serve for the successful management of epidemic processes of infectious diseases in the future.
Keywords: respiratory tract infections, chickenpox, scarlet fever, COVID-19