Are we expecting a strong flu surge?
Is there a flu epidemic in the fall? In the past fewer people have been infected with the flu due to distance and hygiene standards. As a result, the majority of the population has developed no immune protection against the flu. For this reason, this year’s flu epidemic may be stronger than usual this winter, according to US scientists. “This year, a significant portion of the population was not infected with the flu and therefore became immune,” said Andy Pekosz, a professor of microbiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the NBC television network.
The susceptibility of the population to influenza is therefore increasing. There have also been relatively few cases of influenza in Germany. A weekly influenza report from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) states: “In the 2020/21 season, there were no measurable population-wide influenza outbreaks in Germany or other European countries.” fall, the Robert Koch Institute may, at the request of the Germany publishing network we do not say: “But when and to what extent the global circulation of influenza viruses will resume and which virus or which subtypes will then spread, we do not know”.
Flu wave: distance and hygiene rules protect against contagion
A flu vaccination can counter this, especially older people, pregnant women and people with previous illnesses should be vaccinated against the flu. Following hygiene rules, such as washing your hands regularly or wearing a face mask, can also limit the spread. In February, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced the composition of the flu vaccine it recommends for the 2021/22 season. The basis for the vaccine is the previous year’s pathogens. However, because there was no flu outbreak last year and only a few samples of flu strains were examined, doctors fear the vaccine may have weaknesses in its design. This could mean that the vaccine provides only limited protection against circulating influenza viruses: the booster effect would be lost.