Top infectious disease doctor warns this could be the “year of viruses”

Top infectious disease doctor warns this could be the "year of viruses"

Top infectious disease doctor warns this could be the "year of viruses". Image: Liudmyla Guniavaia/

ONE of Finland’s top infectious disease doctors has warned that “this year could be the year of viruses”, despite waning Covid cases in the country.

Asko Järvinen, the chief physician for infectious diseases at the Helsinki and Uusimaa Hospital District, warned this “year could be the year of viruses” after the world opened back up following two years of lockdowns and Covid control measures.

Järvinen told Yle‘s Radio Suomen Tag this week that he believes that now children are in schools and nurseries and adults are back at work, viruses will have the opportunity to spread in a completely different way than during the Covid pandemic.

“When there is no background protection, no resistance built up through infections in previous years, there is perhaps a little more room for disease,” he said on Tuesday, September 6.

“This is the fear that has been speculated.”

He believes that the viruses will start circulating in the autumn, as stated by numerous health officials in recent months.

“This year could be the year of viruses,” said Asko Järvinen.

He also believes that Covid will worsen in the autumn and winter, as the EU plans its vaccine rollout.

However, he admitted that in Finland, Covid cases are on the decline.

“Apparently, the summer has seen such an exceptionally high incidence of the disease that there are only small numbers of people who have not been affected,” he said.

“At the moment, infection rates are still coming down and the number of hospitalised patients is falling all the time.”

Speaking about heart diseases linked with Covid, which was recently stated to be the cause of a young hockey player’s retirement, Järvinen said that “severe coronary heart disease is currently very rare.”

He added: “There are only isolated cases in intensive care. If coronavirus does not become a completely new type of virus, it is no longer expected to place a significant burden on intensive care.”

Järvinen added that if members of the Finnish public think they have Covid, despite testing negative, they should wear a mask.

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Written by

Matthew Roscoe

Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at