Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on other health issues
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The COVID-19 pandemic has had many impacts on global health beyond those caused by the COVID-19 disease itself. It has led to a reduction in hospital visits for other reasons. There have been 38 per cent fewer hospital visits for heart attack symptoms in the United States and 40 per cent fewer in Spain. The head of cardiology at the University of Arizona said, "My worry is some of these people are dying at home because they're too scared to go to the hospital." There is also concern that people with strokes and appendicitis are not seeking timely treatment. Shortages of medical supplies have impacted people with various conditions.
In several countries there has been a marked reduction of spread of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS, attributable to COVID-19 quarantines, social distancing measures, and recommendations to not engage in casual sex. Similarly, in some places, rates of transmission of influenza and other respiratory viruses significantly decreased during the pandemic.
The pandemic has also negatively impacted mental health globally, including increased loneliness resulting from social distancing and depression and domestic violence from lockdowns. As of June 2020, 40% of U.S. adults were experiencing adverse mental health symptoms, with 11% having seriously considered to attempt suicide. The research data suggest that the pandemic has negative effects on both weight loss and food health monitoring but the effects were short lived results.
Paying attention and taking measures to prevent mental health problems and post-traumatic stress syndrome, particularly in women, is already a need.
This article needs to be updated.(May 2021)
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the mental health of people around the world. The pandemic has caused widespread anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms. The pandemic has damaged social relationships, trust in institutions and in other people, has caused changes in work and income, and has imposed a substantial burden of anxiety and worry on the population. Women and young people face the greatest risk of depression and anxiety.
COVID-19 exacerbated problems caused by substance use disorders (SUDs). The pandemic disproportionately affects people with SUD. The health consequences of SUDs (for example, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, type 2 diabetes, immunosuppression and central nervous system depression, and psychiatric disorders), and the associated environmental challenges (such as housing instability, unemployment, and criminal justice involvement), are associated with an increased risk for contracting COVID-19. Confinement rules, as well as unemployment and fiscal austerity measures during and following the pandemic period, can also affect the illicit drug market and patterns of use among consumers of illicit drugs.Mitigation measures (i.e. physical distancing, quarantine, and isolation) can worsen loneliness, mental health symptoms, withdrawal symptoms, and psychological trauma.
UNICEF estimates that 117 million children across 37 countries may not receive their immunizations in time to prevent a measles outbreak. Pediatricians in the United States are worried about childhood vaccination rates. In April, the CDC reported that 400,000 fewer doses of measles vaccine were ordered in 2020 compared to the same time last year.
Although it is highly unlikely that COVID-19 can be transmitted by mosquitoes, the pandemic nevertheless has a large impact on the control of mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria or dengue fever. Reasons are disruptions in medical supply chains, patients avoiding hospitals, and halted mosquito control campaigns such as removal of breeding sites or distribution of insecticide treated bed nets.
Millions of Americans lost their health insurance after losing their jobs. The Independent reported that Families USA "found that the spike in uninsured Americans – adding to an estimated 84 million people who are already uninsured or underinsured – is 39 per cent higher than any previous annual increase, including the most recent surge at the height of the recession between 2008 and 2009 when nearly 4 million non-elderly Americans lost insurance."
Other respiratory diseases
Many experts fear respiratory diseases like the common cold and influenza will be more frequent than average during the 2021-2022 season. Populations have been exposed to these diseases less than usual while masks were worn and social distancing was practiced. Therefore people's immune systems have not been challenged and immune responses have weakened. Any resurgence of other respiratory diseases could increase pressure on health care systems which are already under pressure due to COVID. Research demonstrates patients infected with influenza as well as Covid are over twice as likely to die as patients with only Covid. The public are urged to get Influenza vaccination as well as Covid vaccination.
UNFPA recommends that governments maintain sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) information and services, protect health workers and limit spread of COVID-19. This includes a comprehensive approach to SRHR information and services encompassing antenatal care (ANC), care during childbirth, postnatal care (PNC), contraception, safe abortion care, prevention, testing and treatment of HIV, where relevant, as well as sexually transmitted infections (STI), detection and treatment of GBV, and sexual health services and information.
- Mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on healthcare workers
- Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on hospitals
- Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on abortion in the United States
- Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on long-term care facilities
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