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There was no flu season

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Illustration of an article titled It wasn't the flu season

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This winter was a complete nightmare for Americans, thanks to the raging covid-19 pandemic.But new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Continue To show one bright spot: influenza was suppressed to some of the lowest levels on record. Interventions aimed at delaying the spread of covid-19, such as rallies and avoiding wearing masks, may have helped stop the less contagious flu in that route, causing more people than usual to flu. I was vaccinated.

There is currently minimal activity in all 50 states, usually at the end of the peak flu period, and the entire flu season was peaceful from start to finish. According to the CDC, the country’s cumulative hospitalization rate for influenza is lower than during the influenza season dating back to 2005, when the country began collecting this type of data on a regular basis. And perhaps most importantly, only one childhood influenza death was reported this winter. Contrast it with the brutal one, Record setting When the 2017-2018 flu season is over 60000 Americans, including 186 children, have died of viral illness.

Illustration of an article titled It wasn't the flu season

graphic: CDC

The numbers are great news, but a little unexpected.Last fall, many scientists really worry About the possibility of influenza and covid-19 “eccentricity”. Covid-19 has certainly postponed the end of the negotiations, with more deaths and hospitalizations this winter than anywhere else in the pandemic.Still there was evidence In other countries that experienced the flu earlier this year, this season is mild for very understandable reasons.

Both influenza and covid-19 are caused by viruses that spread to the respiratory system via infectious aerosols and droplets, but coronavirus is more contagious than the garden varieties of influenza virus. Therefore, interventions that reduce a person’s chances of spreading covid-19, such as frequent hand washing, wearing a mask, or simply keeping a distance, may be more effective against the flu. This is especially important when it comes to school, as children are often the driving force behind the outbreak of influenza during normal times. Vaccination probably also plays a role.For the initial data Suggestion The intake of the vaccine is higher than in recent years, and the rate is higher. credit For other countries that have succeeded in keeping flu levels low.

Influenza is not the only illness that has been suppressed thanks to pandemic-related measures. The expected surge in children who developed polio-like paralysis last summer Common cold virus It can cause it to decline at about the same time.Like other common illnesses NorovirusAlso, it has fallen in the past year.

Of course, trying to stay safe during a pandemic would not be possible without its social and mental costs.And the calm of these seasonal diseases average As people return to their normal daily lives, they will see a surge in these illnesses. But there are lessons to be learned in the upcoming flu season. You may not be able to eradicate the flu, but you will need to wash your hands a little more, get vaccinated, stay home when you are sick, and wear a mask when you are sick. Reduces seasonal threats.

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