Flu Viruses Gone – Pandemic Affects Influenza

AHA rules, disinfection measures and lockdown not only reduced the spread of SARS-CoV-2 – the flu epidemic has also been slowed down in the past two years. Overall, several virus lines of influenza could be completely extinct.

Experts from the University of Hong Kong analyzed data from the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS). Here, worldwide sequence analyzes are stored and evaluated. The results were previously published in an untested study.

Corona measures: Influenza viruses disappear from the radar

Like other viruses, influenza viruses are dependent on infection chains and new cases. The spread of the influenza virus has largely been prevented by the global travel and contact restrictions and other corona measures.

Chains of infection were broken and the spread of seasonal influenza viruses to other parts of the world was prevented. Overall, three of the eight most important influenza viruses could have been decimated by the corona measures – the Yamagata line of  influenza  B viruses, which is also part of the  flu vaccination  , is also affected by the experts.

Comeback of the flu: how dangerous is influenza in the future?

Virus variants could currently fall out of the grid of the surveillance systems, but will occur more frequently in the future. Experts expect the influenza to become more severe after the seasonal influenza epidemics do not occur. The two main reasons are:

  • The immune protection from previous influenza illnesses decreases, there is hardly any protection.
  • Rare virus lines not covered by the vaccine are catching on.

Overall, local flu outbreaks due to rare virus variants could increase in the future.


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