What is the severity of the flu this year? In the midst of a revival, an expert warns of the dangers of winter.
THE LACK OF A DEADLY FLU SEASON IN 2020/2021 has pushed the potentially lethal sickness to the back of many people’s thoughts, especially in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic’s terrible losses. Experts warn, however, that after the worst of the pandemic in the UK, the flu might make a spectacular comeback this winter.
Medical experts are now warning that if the flu resurfaces after 18 months of restricted contact, the approaching winter season might be particularly hazardous. While the UK has been relying on its spectacularly successful coronavirus immunization campaign, scientists and medics are warning that because to lockdown restrictions, the following winter could be extremely difficult.
When severe variants of the virus are introduced to groups with little or no immunity, flu seasons become much worse.
In recent years, the UK has seen a relatively low number of flu cases; between December 28, 2020, and February 14, 2021, Public Health England’s respiratory datamart flu surveillance system recorded no positive samples for flu.
Dr Vanessa Saliba, PHE’s head of flu, noted at the time that the low levels of flu circulating this season were likely due to both public health recommendations and restrictions, as well as strong flu vaccination uptake.
“Changes in our behavior, such as social distancing, facial covers, and handwashing, as well as the drop in international travel, are likely to be responsible for the decline in flu cases,” she said.
However, as human behavior has returned to nearly average levels prior to the coronavirus epidemic, the probability of a terrible flu season has increased.
“There is indeed a risk that we will be confronted with a bad flu season, because the COVID-19 measures may have affected the dynamics of influenza viruses circulating in humans and our ability to predict the influenza virus strains that will cause the next outbreak,” Martin Michaelis, Professor of Molecular Medicine at the University of Kent, told This website.
“The influenza viruses that circulate year after year usually don’t alter much.
“On rare occasions, however, a wholly new influenza virus emerges, against which the human population has little or no antibodies.
“Flu pandemics such as the Spanish Flu (1918-1920), the Asian Flu (1957-1958), and the Hong Kong Flu (1968-1969) result as a result of this.”
While there hasn’t been any new flu strains of note. “Brinkwire News in Condensed Form.”