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The Re-Emergence of Other Infectious Viruses

The Re-Emergence of Other Infectious Viruses

As Covid-19 has reached the endemic stage and people have embraced the return to normalcy, let us not forget that there are other infectious diseases that are just as serious as Covid-19. In Malaysia, there has been rising cases linked to influenza-like illnesses (ILI) this July, especially in Penang island. This is unavoidable due to the easing of social restrictions. Similarly, both familiar and unfamiliar viral diseases have been emerging around the world. These viruses include, but not limited to the adenovirus, rhinovirus, influenza, parainfluenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), not to mention the most-talked-about monkeypox disease.*

The first five of these viruses are familiar but are behaving in unexpected ways. In Malaysia, there has been several clusters of these influenza-like-illness (ILI) found in schools.** Elsewhere, children in the United States have also been co-infected with two or three of these viruses.***

  • The adenovirus, previously known to cause mild gastrointestinal illness, is triggering severe hepatitis in healthy young children.
  • The rhinovirus, the cause of the common cold, is sending children to the hospital.
  • Hospital admissions due to flu have increased in May this year when comparing to the past two years. Due to the transmission of Covid-19 at its peak, the past two years recorded one of the mildest influenza and parainfluenza seasons.
  • The respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is causing large outbreaks in the summer and early fall in the United States and Europe when it was previously known to only cause diseases in the winter.

The sixth and last virus, known as monkeypox, is new and unfamiliar to many and is causing an unprecedented outbreak in Europe, North America, the Middle East and Australia. Previously only found in West and Central Africa, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak a global health emergency in July. On 25th August, the WHO announced that more than 41,000 cases and 12 deaths have been reported from 96 countries with over 34% of cases from the United States.**** In Malaysia, there were nine suspected monkeypox cases reported in July, and one confirmed case involving a Malaysian man in Singapore.

The extraordinary measures we took to limit our exposure to Covid-19 have inadvertently limited our exposure to other viruses. As a result, we have far less acquired immunity, hence increasing susceptibility in bigger groups and ultimately leading to out-of-season surges across the population and virulent infections for individuals.* Having said that, halting viral infections stem from the educating the population. Behavioural shifts such as social distancing, mask mandates, quarantining and isolation (if unwell) should be continued, although Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) may not require us to do so.

Considering the rising cases caused by old and new viral strains, it is of utmost importance that everyone stays vigilant. We should carry forward the lessons learned from the pandemic to reduce the transmission of infectious diseases before it takes a turn for the worst. This includes wearing a face mask in enclosed areas, practicing good personal hygiene and having clean workspaces. While Malaysia’s Health Ministry gave assurance that cases of influenza-like-illness (ILI) are currently under control, the public is encouraged to take influenza vaccines at private clinics, adopt a healthy lifestyle, and take preventive measures in order to stop these viruses from spreading.**

On the work front, Maclean’s vast experience in eliminating harmful bacteria, germs and viruses in various environments provides our clients with peace of mind when it comes to cleaning and disinfecting workspaces. All of our cleaning crew is trained to meet our local KKM and international standards of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Singapore’s National Environment Agency (NEA), with the use of industrial strength products. We continue to strive in improving cleaning and disinfecting methods and personnel training to meet the arising needs caused by Covid-19 and other infectious diseases. Should you have any enquiries or require any information regarding our cleaning services and support, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us. Please feel free to contact us at 03-7773 0300 or enquire@maclean.com.my.

Sources:
*
https://www.pbs.org/newshour/health/as-covid-precautions-disappear-other-viruses-are-cropping-up-in-unexpected-ways
** https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2022/06/26/influenza-like-illness-under-control-says-khairy/
*** https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2022/06/13/covid-flu-rsv-viruses/
**** https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/world/2022/08/25/who-reports-over-41000-monkeypox-cases-globally/

Oct 2022
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