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No cases of influenza reported in Ireland during the winter

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Ireland escaped the winter without reporting even one case of the flu, as public health measures around Covid-19 helped wipe it out.

A new report from Eurosurveillance also records very low levels of influenza throughout Europe.

Covid-19 left the flu for the first time since surveillance began about 69 years ago, with few places to cross Europe and the world.

“The Covid-19 pandemic from 2020 to 2021 had a significant impact on the WHO European region and the global influenza cycle,” the report notes.

“This influenza season has been exceptional since the creation of the Global Influenza Monitoring and Response Systems Network in 1952,” he said.

“Despite countries testing large numbers of influenza samples in parallel with coronavirus,” only detections of sporadic influenza viruses of all types, subtypes, and strains have been reported in the WHO European region. I will.

“The region has not reached the 10pc positive epidemic threshold.”

The flu-like illnesses and acute respiratory infections detected were allegedly lower than those observed even during the normal summer months.

Countries have made great efforts to minimize the impact of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic on influenza surveillance.

“In the past, there have been communication campaigns on vaccination efforts to minimize influenza and personal behavior, but success in reducing viral circulation has been limited.

“However, since 1918, strict measures have been taken during the flu season, including school closures, stay-at-home orders, the use of masks, and general reductions in global, regional and regional migration. No, “the report said.

“Such measures could explain a much stronger impact on the influenza cycle, as Eurosurveillance reports a lower number of influenza reproductions compared to the coronavirus and a reputation for spread potential. It ’s expensive. ”

In Ireland, 200 to 500 people die each year as a result of the flu, but in difficult seasons about 1,000 people can be killed.

Of the 1,051 GP samples and 2,504 others tested for influenza or respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) since October, according to the latest weekly monitoring report from the Health Protection Monitoring Center until March 14. No positive cases were detected.

From October 1st to March 14th, 1.2 million influenza vaccinations were carried out by GPs and pharmacists.

Recently, it has become clear that 120,000 doses of flu vaccine for children must be discarded after they become old due to low intake.

This was the first time a free nasal flu vaccine was offered to children. It was initially limited to 2 to 12 years old, but was later expanded to teenagers up to 17 years old to cover a wider range.

Scientists are now trying to figure out a strain to include in the flu vaccine next winter.

Some are afraid that the flu may recur next winter as people have not been exposed to the virus for too long and become more vulnerable.

However, it is inevitable that anti-Covid measures such as physical distance, hand washing and wearing masks will be implemented next winter to help stop the flu threat.

Influenza vaccine intake is also expected to increase next winter, and HSE will be under increasing pressure to ensure that it is in stock.

Irish independent

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