BioScience Trends. 2023;17(6):499-502. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2023.01303)

Immunity debt: Hospitals need to be prepared in advance for multiple respiratory diseases that tend to co-occur

Li T, Chu C, Wei BY, Lu HZ


As SARS-CoV-2 transitions from a pandemic to an endemic presence, a significant rise in respiratory diseases such as influenza and Mycoplasma pneumonia is challenging healthcare systems weakened by the impact of COVID-19. This commentary examines the global resurgence of respiratory pathogens, heightened by the post-pandemic "immunity debt", through an analysis of WHO surveillance data and national health reports. Findings reveal a substantial increase in respiratory illnesses, notably among children, compounded by a shortage of pediatricians and growing antimicrobial resistance. This underscores the need to improve hospital preparedness, optimize clinical responses, and enhance public health strategies to effectively navigate the impending peak of concurrent respiratory infections.

KEYWORDS: immunity debt, influenza, mycoplasma pneumonia, respiratory infection, hospital preparedness

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