Influenza, generally widespread throughout the northern hemisphere of this year, has become almost invisible.
It is a small bright spot among Kovid-19, although the number of people who died from the new pandemic has survived flu deaths. It also presents questions that will be wrestling for doctors around the world for years: If the flu can almost be erased this season, why not every season? What steps help prevent the spread of the flu the most?
“It is a very shocking incident. We are in a historic, incredible position, ”said Norio Sugaya, a pediatrician who serves on the World Health Organization Influenza Committee.
The WHO says that the measures people and governments have taken to prevent the spread of Kovid-19, such as wearing masks and limiting public ceremonies, probably help prevent the flu. It may also contribute to increased rates of flu vaccination.
Another hypothesis is that the widespread spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Kovid-19, may play a role in preventing flu by increasing people’s immunity against other viruses in countries such as the US. A study in the spring of 2020 in New York City found that people who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 were less likely to carry other common viruses such as influenza virus. Nevertheless, research into that hypothesis is just beginning.