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Resurrection of influenza?Experts warn that they may be back this winter

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Toronto-Last winter, influenza was almost non-existent due to blockades and public health measures aimed at reducing COVID-19 cases, but experts warn that a resurgence may be seen this year. doing.

Traditionally, winter is the beginning of the cold and flu season, and people head in to avoid the cold. Last year, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) reported only 79 cases of influenza confirmed in the lab during the 2020-21 season. This is just a small percentage of the 54,000 cases recorded the previous year.

But now, doctors across the country are reporting an increase in children and adults with colds and respiratory viruses.

Infectious disease expert Dr. Gerard Evans told CTV News.ca:

“Is it a classic seasonal surge, as we usually see, or is it still curtailed by the fact that many parts of Canada still have significant public health measures in place? It’s a variable we do I don’t know how it affects. “

A very small amount of influenza cases last year was a by-product of all masking, physical distance, and blockades performed to combat COVID-19. However, with more than 87% of the target population vaccinated, these public health measures have been eased in some parts of the country, and doctors are wondering if the flu will recur. increase.

It’s hard to be sure. Currently, there are not many viruses that are prevalent.

Dr. Donald Vinh of the McGill University Health Center told CTV News: “In many parts of the world, including the Southern Hemisphere, influenza activity has declined significantly in many countries. The Northern Hemisphere.

“Therefore, some people interpret it as meaning that the flu season may be mild in terms of case numbers,” he said.

Meanwhile, this reduction in exposure can lead to an outdated immune repertoire in which people may not have antibodies, as the amount of influenza that is prevalent has decreased since the COVID-19 pandemic began. There are concerns that there is sex so far to fight the current flu strain.

Preprint survey Issued at the end of AugustIs still awaiting a formal review and has predicted what will be called the “Major Compensatory Influenza Season 2021-22” due to the bright season of last winter.

Colds and other respiratory viruses are already on the rise in some parts of the country. The concern is that the flu may continue.

“This can lead to a more severe flu season, especially for those at risk of hospitalization and death,” Vinh said.

Already, the World Health Organization reports that while COVID-19 infections accounted for the majority of 2020 and 2021, influenza cases are now clearly increasing worldwide.

“We strongly hope that some of the decline in influence we saw last year may have been due to the simultaneous prevalence of COVID,” Evans said. “But if that doesn’t happen this year, we’ll be what the infamous, people like to call” twindemic. ” These are two viruses that can cause many cases and cause serious illness. The system to deal with is very strict. “

If influenza cases increase at the same time as COVID-19, this could mean that COVID-19 and severely ill influenza patients may fight for the same resources such as ICU beds and ventilators this winter. There is sex.

NS Study published this month According to a report from Australia called “The Importance of Influenza Vaccination During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” influenza epidemics are increasing in some countries, and despite the current low circulation of influenza, “coming It poses a new threat to the winter in the northern hemisphere. “

Ian G of the WHO Joint Reference Research Center for Influenza in Melbourne. In this study, co-authored by Dr. Barr, “the virus is still circulating, and when air travel returns and infections increase, the virus can be transported rapidly,” he said. I’m predicting the possibility. Occurs later this year.

“Influenza vaccination […] It should not be ignored, “the report said.

A British study also found that two vaccines Safely administer at the same time

And a study from the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Posted on PLoS One this summer, Influenza vaccine has been found to provide additional protection against serious consequences if a person is infected with COVID-19. Of the two cohorts of 37,000, those vaccinated against influenza had reduced COVID-19-related sepsis and stroke and had fewer visits to the emergency department.

Study subjects infected with COVID-19 and not vaccinated against influenza were up to 20% more likely to be admitted to the ICU.

“It is not yet known exactly how influenza vaccines provide protection against COVID-19, but most theories speculate that influenza vaccination may strengthen the innate immune system. A press release on the study.

It is important to note that influenza vaccination is not a substitute for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Ajit Johal, pharmacist and clinical director at Immunize.io, told CTV: news.

Experts say that even a 6-month-old child can be vaccinated against the flu, and even if you are using something other than COVID-19, it is important to take measures such as masking and staying at home when you are ill. ..

“If you have symptoms, whether contagious or with COVID, find a way to interact with others, go to work, go to school, or stay home until you have symptoms. Noi Birds, a doctor and Canadian research chair at Women’s College Hospital and the University of Toronto, told CTV News.

And as the weather cools, public health pushes every ounce of prevention into another pandemic winter, and autumn flu clinics will soon open nationwide.

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