This Year’s Winter Flu Has Been Easy For The United States

Nikki Attkisson | Last Updated : February 23, 2022

With the advent of the third wave of coronavirus in the world, as many as 5.3 million people from
about 200 countries have lost their lives, and several others have been affected with one or the
other ever-lasting problem. Among several countries adversely affected, the US was one of

This Year’s Winter Flu Has Been Easy For The United States

Not only corona, the time period from October to December is usually where a lot of
cases of flu (type A H3N2, also known by H3N2v) infected patients are encountered. The
ghastliest pandemic with the infection of H1N1 occurred in 1918, almost at the end of world war 1.

The first case reported was from Kansas, US. The cases recorded were about 500 million out of
which 25-50 million people lost their lives.
According to the microbiologist and researchers in the field, define “the flu” is an infectious
disease caused by the influenza virus. Symptoms ranging from fever, running nose, scratchy
throat, body pain, etc can be witnessed while diarrhea and vomiting can also be seen in

Influenza virus exists in four subtypes: A, B, C, and D. Type A is found in aquatic
birds, pigs, and humans. It is usually transmitted through nasal droplets.

The infection rate with type A is high and usually results in more hospitalization in older adults because if
not treated on time, it may progress to meningitis, cardiovascular diseases, encephalitis, etc.
The peak of the flu(H3N2) is usually between December and February around the northern and
the southern hemisphere.

According to the CDC who analyzes and compiles data on the occurrence of flu every year in US states, there has been a sharp dip in the cases progressively after the advent of novel coronavirus. In November 2020, Scientific American reported the dip in the cases as well.

The data of death by flu collected from the year 2020-21 by CDC cases of flu
were 700 which was approx 22000 in the year 2019-2020 and 34000 in the year 2018-2019.
During an interview, Dr. Angela Branche said that she has come across any flu cases in
Rochester where in the past the doctors in Rochester usually used to diagnose about 50-100 flu
cases at this time of the year.

Richard Webby, a virologist at St. Jude children’s research hospital, one of the six collaborating centers for influenza study, stated the flu was nowhere to be found except for western Africa.
This unexpected fall in the cases for the past two years is related to the precautions maintained
for the novel coronavirus which is an indirect way that has turned the scenario reverse.

As said by William Schaffner, MD, Vanderbilt University School Of Medicine-Infectious Disease and health
policy makers that fall in flu cases have indeed shown that the social distancing norms were
practical. The constant emphasis on regular hand washing, sanitizing, masking, and maintaining
social distance has proved to be efficacious and gradually brings the flu cases down.

But somewhere down the lane, scientists and people are concerned that is this so. Lynnette
Brammer working with CDC, said, “The question we are asking ourselves now is Is this it, or is
there more to come?”.

Many experts are concerned that with people showing negligence towards the personal hygiene system, there may be a surge in other respiratory diseases, including flu. It is also essential to safeguard children by either vaccination or masking as they are the major contributor to flu distribution. One crucial possible reason behind the dip in flu cases is that children and the elderly are most frequently affected.

As a part of measuring the risk of spreading flu, CDC recommends face masks for all students as well faculty as the schools are being reopened. The authors of Spain are enthusiastically emphasizing the mass influenza vaccination program and production on a large scale.

A very recent study by some researchers in Spain has concluded that certain pathogens have diminished, which can lead to a decrease in herd immunity and many more serious diseases can take birth. The main focus of the study was regarding RSV( respiratory syncytial virus) and influenza. At present, CDC is immunizing people with both covid-19 and flu vaccine simultaneously. According to the scientists, covid
protocols and vaccination are the solutions for keeping the situation under control.

Nikki Attkisson

With over 15 years as a practicing journalist, Nikki Attkisson found herself at Powdersville Post now after working at several other publications. She is an award-winning journalist with an entrepreneurial spirit and worked as a journalist covering technology, innovation, environmental issues, politics, health etc. Nikki Attkisson has also worked on product development, content strategy, and editorial management for numerous media companies. She began her career at local news stations and worked as a reporter in national newspapers.

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