According to the European and American Centers of Disease and Control, the upcoming flu season could be the most severe in years and could significantly burden healthcare systems already drained by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The early detections of the A (H3N2) strain – which disproportionally affects older people and is linked to a reduced vaccine efficacy – are an indication that the upcoming flu season could be severe, although we cannot know for sure what it will look like,” says Pasi Penttinen, head of ECDC’s influenza program.
“A steep rise in flu infections during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic could have serious consequences for the elderly and those with weak immune systems and could place an additional burden on health systems already strained by the pandemic. It is therefore important that we take the necessary precautions and protect those most at risk,” said Pasi Penttinen.
Across the ocean, the United States could be facing the same problem, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky warned.
According to Dr. Walensky and other international experts, the government-imposed restrictions during the past winter nearly eliminated the number of flu infections detected but, at the same time, may have reduced immunity against influenza. As people now gather with milder restrictions, winter viruses are expected to increase.
CDC and ECDC urged health workers and vulnerable people to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and influenza before winter and added that monitoring, physical distancing, masks, and hygiene measures effectively reduce the spread of both SARS-CoV-2 and influenza. Monitoring these diseases, their variants, and their diffusion is fundamental and is something we can help with: discover below our products ideal for flu sample collection.