Remember the flu? Nobody talked about influenza last year, at all. Yet now some experts are warning that, not only will we be talking about flu, we could be in for a “twindemic” of COVID-19 and influenza.

It feels like the flu has practically disappeared in America and CDC data supports it.

Influenza was at record lows in the United States and globally for the 2020-2021 flu season. According to the CDC, “During September 28, 2020–May 22, 2021 in the United States, 1,675 (0.2%) of 818,939 respiratory specimens tested by U.S. clinical laboratories were positive for an influenza virus. The low level of flu activity during this past season contributed to dramatically fewer flu illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths compared with previous flu seasons.”

In fact, only around 700 people died from influenza during this time period in comparison to the approximate 22,000 U.S. deaths in the prior season and 34,000 deaths two seasons ago.

Why the huge drop in cases? Did influenza disappear?

According to epidemiologists, it is attributable to quarantine, social-distancing and mask wearing imposed on the population due to the COVID-19 outbreak. “Influenza viruses are transmitted in much the same way as SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and they are less effective at jumping from person to person.”

Additionally, there was a higher percent of the population that received a flu vaccine as opposed to years past.

CDC preliminary estimates indicate that 50% to 55% of adults got a flu vaccine as compared with 48% in the 2019–2020 estimate by end of May 2020.

It makes sense that the number of influenza cases are down. However, the vast majority of people did not die from influenza in years past and there is treatment if it is caught early enough to help minimize the effects and shorten the duration.

Now experts are warning the flu could return with a vengeance now that schools have mostly opened back up and people have resumed a more of a normal life with less mask wearing and less social distancing.

During a CNN interview Monday, Dr. William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University stated “we might well have a twindemic.”

There is not doubt there will be a push for vaccination for both COVID-19 and influenza.

“I think we’re going to have to reintroduce flu to the country,” Schaffner said. “Let people know that this is yet another nasty respiratory virus, and you have to get vaccinated against both.”

It is clear there is going to be a push for masking nation-wide and it is starting to feel like we are in for a push to lockdown again as we continue to hear dyer predictions.

“Kids back in school, we’re back at work, we’re going out to recreational facilities, we are not wearing our masks, and we could have flu on top of Covid,” Schaffner stated. “Not an attractive prospect.”

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