The year 2020-2021 is marked as the year of staying indoors, social isolations, masks, and sanitizers.
A collateral impact of these was seen in the occurrence of common cold and flu.
How The Pandemic Impacted The Frequency Of Common Flu In The Year 2020
According to reports, there were hardly any cases of flu this year.
The disappearance of flu, as showcased by data.
According to the reports of the public health and clinical laboratories submitted to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between September 27, 2020, to April 24, 2021, only 2038 instances of flu were observed.
Whereas during the span of 2019-2020, an estimated 38 million cases of flu were reported.
It is considered something unusual which was not seen before, as suggested by a professor of infectious disease at the University of California, Berkeley, school of public health, Dr. John Swartzberg.
Although a drop in flu among the populace is good, it raises confusion regarding the vaccinations and prevalence of flu in the following season.
The significance of reduced flu cases on the general population.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and the health experts jointly review the flu situation every year twice in February and September.
It is used to comprehend the four most prevalent strains of virus causing the flu.
Based on the analysis, the manufacturers are recommended on the formula of the vaccine to be created.
The availability of data is significantly low this year; hence WHO has recommended a vaccine based on last season’s data.
Dr. Swartzberg further implies that the reduction in flu cases last season should not impact the next season of the ailment. The weakening of the immune system is not associated with people not falling sick to the flu.
According to him, the general populace continues to hold its immunity against flu or influenza type viruses, as getting infected on a regular basis is not required to maintain the immune system.
According to Dr. Swartzberg, that also can prove beneficial since the development of immunity against flu was lower last year.
Mechanism of flu vaccine.
A quadrivalent vaccine is one that counters all four variants of the flu virus.
WHO has recommended, to keep two B strains intact while changing the two A strains, as stated by Dr. Gregg Sylvester, chief medical officer at Seqirus, an influenza vaccine manufacturer located in North Carolina.
However, if it will be effective or not requires extended observation.
Predictions for the upcoming flu season.
The manufacturers of flu vaccine have accelerated, while the general American populace remains apprehensive about the approaching season.
Predictions of health experts imply the flu will resemble its attributes to that of previous seasons.
That indicates its emergence in October and continuing till April, for 13 weeks.
Making further predictions about the nearing flu season is challenging as the 50,000 covid-19 cases continue to be reported every day.
Although there are apprehensions that returning to normalcy may induce a bad flu outbreak, authorities are prepared to handle any situation.
Dr. Swartzberg is hopeful that the coronavirus has made the population aware of the general hygiene and safety measures that extend to other viruses, including the flu.
Furthermore, it is expected that people will practice wearing masks or be allowed to work from home for their respective vocations. All of these will promote general good health among the population, as foreseen by Dr. Swartzberg.
However, there are contrary views to it with some medical experts.
According to a professor of microbiology at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Dr. Andy Pekosz, the coming season may pose serious threats of a bad influenza virus.