June 21, 2023

In The News: Viruses and Other Bugs Could Make a Summer Comeback

NBC News shares a CDC report on a spring spike in human metapneumovirus that has prompted doctors across the country to warn of a mix of respiratory and bug-borne viruses that could affect the U.S. this summer. While the CDC does not predict a surge in HMPV, the imbalance in seasonal spikes due to the COVID-19 pandemic has everyone’s attention. Summer travel is set to begin in earnest and with it the possibility of another wave of competing infections.

The article then proceeds to explore the likeliest candidates: COVID, enteroviruses, Mpox, and Lyme, norovirus and other vacation bugs. The warmer weather with people gathering in air-conditioned spaces provide an advantageous environment for infections to spread.

Already, the CDC ceased active tracking of COVID infections, which could mean a sizeable rise in cases happens before it becomes noticeably apparent. Pediatric infectious diseases experts in the story point to enteroviruses as the most expected candidate they will watch for this summer, a return to normal patterns. Post-pandemic travel is predicted to be considerable and that may lead to a high number of interactions between humans and insects or viruses that don’t often occur. Lastly, in the article, Mpox is worth watching as Pride celebrations lead to large group convenings, particularly in the population that has experienced the greatest incidence of Mpox.

PIDS members Amina Ahmed and Buddy Creech are quoted in the story. Dr. Creech shared, “Every year, there’s a rhythm and cadence to the viruses that circulate. It certainly seems that our winter/spring respiratory virus season is ending, and rhinovirus/enterovirus are ascending. This could lead to a welcome reprieve from the busy winter.”

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