Medical experts warn of the upcoming winter season, which may be especially dangerous, if there is a return of influenza, which may be worse in light of the emergence of many strains of corona, according to the report published on the “Express” website.
The report notes that the decline in flu cases may be due to changes in our behaviour, such as social distancing, face coverings and hand washing, as well as lower rates of international travel.
But as our behavior changes to what was considered nearly normal before the coronavirus pandemic and life is gradually returning to normal, this may increase the risk of a bad flu season returning next winter.
For his part, Martin Michaelis, Professor of Molecular Medicine at the University of Kent, English, said, “There is indeed a risk that we will face a bad flu season, because Corona’s measures may have affected the dynamics of influenza, as there are usually slight changes between influenza viruses that spread year after year, however, Sometimes, the influenza virus may mutate and there is usually no prior immunity to it.”
According to experts, this results in influenza becoming epidemic-like, as happened with the Spanish flu (1918-1920), the Asian flu (1957-1958), and the Hong Kong flu (1968-1969).
Although no new strain of influenza has been discovered, there are still significant risks that this season will become more ferocious.
Professor Michaelis continued: “Usually, influenza viruses circulating in humans are closely monitored to predict which strains will be dominant in the influenza season during the upcoming winter. These predictions are usually very good, but sometimes there are unexpected surprises.”
Because the composition of the annual influenza vaccine is based on these predictions, inaccuracies mean that vaccines may not be effective against circulating strains, which could result in more severe outbreaks.
In this context, low levels of influenza over the past 18 months have greatly affected our ability to predict its expected mutations in the coming winter, and therefore, there is an increased risk that forecasts may not be as accurate as they usually are.
Doctors advise that following the same precautions taken with the Corona virus will help prevent influenza infection, by maintaining the rules of social separation and health precautions that protect against both the Corona virus and influenza.