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What precautions can be taken to avoid contracting a pandemic?

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The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At April 16, 2024
Reviewed AtApril 16, 2024

Patient's Query

Hi doctor,

Being a 39-year-old male, I am really confused now. With all the talk about the ongoing pandemic, I am worried about the impact of climate change on the spread of diseases and the possibility of new pandemics. Can you please explain how climate change is connected to the spread of infectious diseases? What can I do to protect myself and my family from potential new pathogens? What necessary precautions are needed now? How to boost our immunity against developing pathogens?

Hi,

Thank you for trusting us with your healthcare.

I have reviewed your medical history and understand your concerns.

The ongoing spread of a JN.1, a sub-lineage of BA.2.86 Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus is likely due to potential mutations. These mutations will continue occurring with the emergence of newer strains as had been predicted during the end of the pandemic in 2022. As per current WHO statistics, globally, the number of new cases increased by 52 percent during the 28-day period of 20 November to 17 December 2023 as compared to the previous 28-day period, with over 850,000 new cases reported. The number of new deaths decreased by 8 percent as compared to the previous 28-day period, with over 3000 new fatalities reported. As per Indian published statistics of the Union Health Ministry, India has recorded a single-day rise of 774 new cases on Jan 5-6th while the number of active cases stands at 4,187. The currently available data suggests that the JN.1 variant is neither leading to a rapid or massive rise in new cases nor an increase in hospitalization and mortality.

However, it is also believed that climate change and pollution are contributing to the spread of the virus. Climate change and pollution are likely to drastically reduce immunity rather than cause mutations and change the virus. Rather it may cause a general increase in viral illnesses due to this general lowering of immunity. It is important that you follow the basic guidelines to prevent spread such as mask-wearing to prevent both virus spread and pollution, safe distancing, related hand washing, and improvement of immunity by general and specific interventions. Please get vaccinated against multiple strains of influenza. Just hoping that you have taken all COVID-19 vaccine doses during a pandemic.

I hope this has helped you. Please feel free to reach me again, in case of further queries.

Thank you.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Shubadeep Debabrata Sinha
Dr. Shubadeep Debabrata Sinha

Infectious Diseases

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