Tuesday, December 06, 2022

What will happen with the flu this year?

What will happen with the flu this year?

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<p>We do not know, but it is certain that this year will be special.  We haven’t had a “normal” flu season for two years, as the COVID-19 virus has practically wiped out the flu during the pandemic and changed the global epidemiology of respiratory infections.</p>
<p>In Spain, typically 30–40% of respiratory infections are caused by respiratory syncytial virus, the peak incidence of which is usually in December.  Seasonal influenza epidemics typically affect 10-20% of the population each year, of whom 20-40% are children.  And flu peak is usually in January-February.</p><div class='code-block code-block-2' style='margin: 8px 0; clear: both;'>
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However, a study on the impact of the pandemic on the rate of admissions for respiratory infections in pediatric ICUs (March 2020 to February 2021) in our country found that hardly any cases were detected. virus (RSV) or influenza.

what is this for? Most likely, measures implemented to reduce the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 – hand hygiene, use of masks, social distancing and reduced movement – have contributed to reducing transmission of other respiratory viruses. In addition to explaining some of the odd behaviours, such as the fact that respiratory syncytial virus peaked between May and June 2020. Influenza cases have appeared intermittently, like a trickle, but the virus was practically swept away by Omicron last winter.

In Australia, Argentina or Chile it has been advanced, but it is not very serious.

We don’t know what this flu season will be like or when it will start, but it may give us some clues to look back at what’s happened in the Southern Hemisphere this winter (summer in Spain). In general, in countries such as Australia, Argentina or Chile, the flu pandemic has progressed several weeks, but it does not appear to have been a particularly severe season. In Australia it affects most children under the age of five and has circulating subtypes A(H3) and A(H1). Influenza type B has not been detected.

Flu infections will be high without anti-covid measures

After two years without a “normal” flu season, it would be logical that this winter would have more flu cases than last season, as we have taken all measures against COVID-19.

Similarly, it should be borne in mind that people are more susceptible to the virus, as they have not received antigenic stimulation from previous campaigns.

To make matters worse, antibodies against the flu also decrease over time, the same thing that happens with COVID-19. In particular, children under the age of five have not received encouragement in recent years and we can expect a higher number of flu cases.

There are also questions about how much this year’s flu vaccine will protect against circulating strains. As we have lived without influenza for a few years, the coincidence between vaccine strains and circulating strains may be insufficient.

vaccinate children

We are facing a special cold in which flu and coronavirus will coexist. There is also concern about how the next epidemic of respiratory syncytial virus, the leading cause of bronchiolitis in young children, will turn out to be.

The most vulnerable should be protected and vaccinated, with special attention to children. And act with common sense: Vaccination is the best way to avoid serious complications from respiratory viruses.

If you have flu symptoms, isolation is best. If you can avoid going to work, avoid it. And the use of masks and frequent hand washing is highly recommended, especially to avoid passing the virus to the most vulnerable.

A version of this article was originally published on the author’s blog Microbio.

This article was originally published on The Conversation. read the original.

Ignacio López-Goñi does not receive salary, does not do consulting work, does not own shares, nor receives funding from any company or organization that may benefit from this article, and has declared that He has no relevant links beyond the academic position cited.

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