By Sarah Keane • 24 February 2021 • 22:25
Has Covid Wiped Out The Flu?
HAS the Covid pandemic wiped out the flu for good?
The UK and global public has had a lot to keep them occupied over the last twelve months, with a global pandemic, nationwide lockdown and travel restrictions, but one thing which hasn’t been troubling the population of late is the annual flu. In fact, Public Health England hasn’t recorded a single case of the flu virus so far this year through its routine surveillance tests, at a time on the calendar when the virus should be rampant.
Virus experts are attributing the strict UK lockdown to the decline in the flu virus, claiming that social distancing, the use of face masks and increased hand washing has all but wiped out the annual winter scourge, as only four people admitted to hospital in England so far this year has been diagnosed with flu.
Dr Vanessa Saliba, of PHE, said:
‘The decrease in flu cases this year is likely due to changes in our behaviour, such as social distancing, face coverings and handwashing, as well as the reduction in international travel,’ she told the Independent.
The figures are quite something considering some 74 people were admitted to hospital suffering from the flu during the same period in 2020, before the coronavirus pandemic reached its zenith.
The doctor has cautioned against the belief that the flu virus has been wiped out altogether, however, and she highlighted the fact that the flu vaccine still plays a vital role in keeping it at bay. According to the official figures, more than 80 per cent of people over the age of 65 have been vaccinated this season, along with around half of those considered to be in high-risk categories.
‘This season’s immunisation programme is on track to be the most successful ever, with the highest levels of vaccine uptake recorded for those 65 years and over, two and three-year-olds and healthcare workers,’ Dr Saliba added.
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Former teacher and health services manager with a Degree in English, Sarah moved to Spain from Southern Ireland with her husband, who runs his own car rental business, in 2019. She is now enjoying a completely different pace and quality of life on the Costa Blanca South, with wonderful Spanish and expat friends in Cabo Roig. Sarah began working with Euro Weekly News in 2020 and loves nothing more than bringing all the latest national and international news to her local community.
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