Countermeasures against the new coronavirus also affect the influenza pandemic

Since the spread of the new coronavirus infection (COVID-19) worldwide, the number of cases of

acute influenza virus infection reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) has decreased significantly.

The Flu Vanished During Covid. What Will Its Return Look Like? --The New York Times

Flu Has Disappeared Worldwide during the COVID Pandemic --Scientific American

Weekly US Influenza Surveillance Report | CDC

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the number of influenza cases reported in the United States from September 27, 2020 to April 17, 2021 was approximately 2000. This is an extremely small number, about one-ninth of the figure from 2011 to 2012, which was the year when the number of infected people was the lowest since the start of regular data collection in 2005.

Looking at the graph showing the number of people infected with influenza in North America from 2010, it can be seen that the number of infected people appears from November to April of the following year, while the number of infected people is almost nonexistent in 2021. I understand. We can also see that the number of infected people has decreased sharply since the lockdown that started in March 2020.

Epidemiologists believe that COVID-19 infection control has helped reduce the number of influenza cases. However, it is also believed that as the effects of COVID-19 subside, it is certain that influenza will re-emerge. Epidemiologists at the CDC have also pointed out that low exposure to influenza strains may weaken people's immunity to influenza, and more than usual when the flu epidemic occurs again. It states that people can get infected.

The small number of cases has also affected the production of influenza vaccines from 2021 to 2022. Influenza vaccines are usually prepared by analyzing the strains that prevailed in the previous season and predicting the strains that will prevail in the next season. However, due to the slight influenza pandemic from 2020 to 2021, the data used to determine the vaccine for the next season was also orders of magnitude less than usual.

CDC epidemiologist Sonia Olsen said vaccination is still important because the flu could re-emerge.

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