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COVID Prevention May Mean Record Low Flu Rates

By Dennis Thompson
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Sept. 17, 2020 (HealthDay Information) — The last stats are in for America’s very last flu season, and the information is great: Document lower premiums of influenza were reported as situations plummeted for the duration of the early months of the coronavirus pandemic.

Why? Scientists from the U.S. Facilities for Sickness Handle and Avoidance feel the social distancing measures put into location across the region very last spring saved far more than the new coronavirus at bay.

The 2019-2020 flu season ended weeks earlier than common this 12 months, with flu bacterial infections declining sharply within two weeks of the COVID-19 unexpected emergency declaration on March one, the new research located.

Influenza activity in the United States plunged, from about thirty% of samples tests constructive for flu in early February down to only two% the 7 days of March 22, the researchers reported.

By comparison, previous flu seasons in the United States have prolonged into April and even Might, the research showed.

“Due to the fact influenza and COVID-19 are transmitted in comparable trend, it is envisioned that neighborhood mitigation for a single will have an affect on the other,” explained Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar with the Johns Hopkins Centre for Health Safety, in Baltimore. “This is obviously demonstrated in the knowledge of the just-prior flu season in the United States, as very well as the present-day flu season the Southern Hemisphere is in.”

Flu situations have also stayed unusually lower for the duration of the summer season, the researchers located. Only .two% of samples have examined constructive for influenza on typical in the United States, as opposed with one% to two% in previous several years.

These quantities should relaxed community well being industry experts nervous about a possible “twindemic” of COVID-19 and influenza situations swamping U.S. hospitals this fall and wintertime, Adalja explained. If most people today utilize the methods that avoid COVID-19 an infection, they’re possibly also holding on their own secure from the seasonal flu.

Centered on knowledge from “sentinel” nations around the world in the Southern Hemisphere that enter their flu seasons earlier than the United States, it appears that COVID-19 prevention measures could certainly blunt the coming 2020-2021 season in The usa, the new report suggests.


Australia, Chile and South Africa all showed unbelievably lower flu activity in between June and August, the months that represent their regular influenza season, the researchers located:

  • Only 33 specimens examined constructive for flu out of far more than 60,000 in Australia for the duration of that period of time.
  • Just 12 out of far more than 21,000 specimens examined constructive for flu in Chile.
  • Only 6 out of practically two,one hundred South African samples examined constructive for flu.

In accordance to Dr. Eric Cioe-Pena, director of world-wide well being for Northwell Health in New Hyde Park, N.Y., “The knowledge from the Southern Hemisphere is unbelievably convincing that we get this cross-advantage of lessening flu quantities at the exact time we are preventing COVID bacterial infections.”

To generate flu bacterial infections down even more, as several people today as achievable should also get this year’s flu shot, Cioe-Pena suggested.

“I assume people today drop sight of the actuality that we have a vaccine for flu,” Cioe-Pena explained. “The flu vaccine mixed with the COVID social distancing measures could obliterate the flu epidemic in the United States this 12 months, which would be an astounding gift the American society could give to well being treatment workers and initially responders. If our flu quantities will not select up the way they do for the duration of a bad flu season, it is really heading to give us a ton far more time to target on COVID.”

The new report by Sonja Olsen, of the CDC’s National Centre for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, and colleagues was published Sept. 18 in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

WebMD Information from HealthDay


Resources: Amesh Adalja, MD, senior scholar, Johns Hopkins Centre for Health Safety, Baltimore Eric Cioe-Pena, MD, director, world-wide well being, Northwell Health, New Hyde Park, N.Y.Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, Sept. 18, 2020

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