Flu: it could hurt a lot next winter

Thanks to the respect of barrier gestures, few people have caught the flu this year. But this lack of circulation of the virus could make us more vulnerable to the flu next winter.

Who has already had the flu knows how dreadful the disease can be: headaches, muscle aches, high fever, intense fatigue … In short, the flu can hurt! It could even hurt very badly next winter because if this year respecting barrier gestures and social distancing prevented us from catching the virus, it also prevented us from building our immunity. Now, lpeople without immunity or with reduced immunity “are like fuel for the flu fire” explains Dr Shweta bansal, specialist in infectious diseases at Georgetown University in Washington (United States). “And the more fuel there is available, the more the epidemic can spread.”

The coronavirus has taken over the other respiratory viruses

Since the end of September, Public Health France has continued to monitor the evolution of the influenza virus in the territory, as it does every winter. In 5 months, no active circulation of influenza viruses has been identified by the dedicated surveillance networks. “Only 20 influenza viruses have been detected (18 in hospitals and 2 by the Sentinelles network) in different regions, including at least 2 in people returning from a trip abroad” underlines Public Health France in its epidemiological bulletin.

An unprecedented but troubling situation for researchers who were unable to study the influenza virus and are therefore deprived of data for the development of future vaccines in anticipation of the next epidemic. Because the flu virus has not disappeared. Like the respiratory syncitial virus (the bronchiolitis virus) or the other coronaviruses usually responsible for colds, it has simply been deprived of its usual vectors of transmission due to wearing a mask, working from home, and social distancing.

But when the wearing of the mask is lightened and the distancing is relaxed, the flu virus will reappear. The next flu epidemic is inevitable. Scientists are only wondering if it will be next winter or off-season.

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Source: Topsante.com by www.topsante.com.

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