COVID-19 prevention and control measures associated with decrease in influenza activity

Recent studies have provided preliminary evidence of a long-term relationship between preventive and control measures and influenza infection in China during the COVID-19 pandemic, explaining the impact at different levels of prevention and control. It has been. The first study of this kind was health data science, Science Partner Journal.

Since December 2019, various non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) and COVID-19 vaccination have been used to prevent and control community-acquired transmission of COVID-19. However, the relationship between changing influenza epidemics and COVID-19 prevention and control remained unclear. ”

Zirui Guo, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Peking University School of Public Health

Influenza is an acute respiratory infection caused by the influenza virus that can take a toll and lead to severe epidemics and pandemics. However, early 2020 saw a marked decline in influenza activity in Japan and the United States, among other regions in the northern hemisphere. Moreover, Australia, Chile and other parts of the Southern Hemisphere shared this observation during influenza seasons. 2020.

“According to our analysis, the COVID-19 outbreak has changed the epidemic trends and characteristics of influenza,” shares author of the article, Professor Min Liu, a scientist at the above organization.

A significant decrease in influenza activity in China was observed during the 2020-2022 COVID-19 pandemic, especially in winter and spring. Moreover, influenza seasonality was evident from He 2010 to He 2019, but was not seen across China, north or south, during the 2020/2021 season.

After analyzing the epidemiology and seasonal patterns of influenza based on the timeline of COVID-19 NPIs implemented in China, the authors found that the reduction in influenza virus transmission was consistent with daily COVID-19 public health interventions in China. concluded that it may be related to

Respiratory diseases occur frequently from winter to spring, when new coronaviruses and influenza are more prevalent. Meanwhile, the resurgence of other respiratory viruses suppressed under the COVID-19 NPI in 2020-2021 was recognized worldwide. Thus, after the prolonged low flu season of 2020-2022, the entire population has missed an opportunity to boost immunity against influenza. As a result, high-risk populations such as young children and the elderly become more susceptible to widespread and severe illness from influenza over time.

Efforts to strengthen influenza surveillance and establish a comprehensive influenza virus and SARS-CoV-2 surveillance system to protect these vulnerable populations, in addition to increasing influenza vaccine coverage. is required.

“Because of the limitations of our analysis, further studies are needed to confirm our results,” commented Professor Liu. “More indicators, such as influenza positive prevalence and number of reported influenza cases, may supplement and validate our study. We will also consider making appropriate supplements to


Journal reference:

Guo Z. and others. (2022) Impact of COVID-19 prevention and control on influenza epidemics in China: a time series study. health data science.

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