Covid-19 Has Nearly Wiped Out the Flu—How Do We Keep It From Coming Back? – WSJ

Coronavirus measures like mask-wearing and increased vaccination rates have contributed to historically low levels of seasonal influenza, leading some to explore what might help most after the pandemic ends.

MY COMMENT: This is the way “they” can get everyone in the world to voluntarily enter Mystery Babylon’s system. Over a short period of time, people will see that the vaccines are “innocuous”, even the COVID19 vaccine which will kill some but not enough to prevent others from taking it. The promise of no more seasonal illnesses is tempting! And those masks! Well, keep wearing them anyway! You’re still being initiated into the New World Order. In mystery religions, initiations take years sometimes until the initiate proves he has been re-programmed into the new religion.

Influenza, usually raging throughout the Northern Hemisphere this time of year, has become virtually invisible.

It is a small bright spot amid Covid-19, although the number of people saved from a flu death pales next to the number dying from the new pandemic. It also presents questions that doctors around the globe will likely be wrestling with for years: If flu can be nearly wiped out this season, why not every season? Which steps help the most to stop the flu from spreading? Yeah! Why not?

“This is an extremely puzzling phenomenon. We’re in a historic, unbelievable situation,” said Norio Sugaya, a pediatrician who serves on a World Health Organization influenza committee.

The WHO says the measures people and governments are taking to prevent the spread of Covid-19, such as wearing masks and limiting public gatherings, have probably helped keep the flu in check. Increased flu vaccination rates may also be contributing, it says.

Another hypothesis holds that the broad spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, in countries like the U.S. may play a role in blocking the flu by lifting people’s immunity against other viruses. One study in the spring of 2020 in New York City found that people testing positive for SARS-CoV-2 were far less likely to be carrying other common viruses such as influenza viruses. Still, research into that hypothesis is just beginning.

What is clear is the historically low number of people with the flu.

“In a normal year, there are 50 to 100 flu patients every day around this time of the year,” said Sho Naito, who runs five clinics in the Tokyo metropolitan area. “But we recently have only two to three a week” at each site, he said.

Nationwide in Japan, there were estimated 1,000 flu patients in the second week of this month, compared with some 800,000 a year earlier, according to government estimates. In England, which normally has several thousand people in the hospital or intensive care with the flu in early January, new hospitalizations for the disease in the first week of this year were zero, according to the country’s public-health body.

At surveillance sites that report to the WHO and European health officials, 872 specimens from people with flulike symptoms were received in the week through Jan. 10. Zero tested positive for the flu.

A similar monitoring network in the U.S. found 103 of 25,817 samples were positive for the flu in the week ended Jan. 9. That ratio, less than one-half of 1%, compares with a 23% positive rate on nearly 50,000 samples a year ago, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

…Awareness of Covid-19 has also helped drive flu vaccinations. In England, just over 80% of elderly people received a flu shot this season, 10 percentage points higher than a year ago.

The question now is what happens once the coronavirus pandemic is brought under control and public-health measures are lifted. Dr. Sugaya of the WHO committee said he feared the flu could come back with a vengeance, hitting a population whose immunity to flu viruses has ebbed. “We should not let our guard down,” he said.

To keep the flu from returning stronger than ever, doctors said people would have to stick to some of the habits they have learned during Covid-19, including frequent hand-sanitizing and mask-wearing.

The best protection, though, is a flu shot, said Dr. Naito in Tokyo…

Douglas Nixon, a professor of immunology at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York, said he hoped the Covid-19 vaccination push in the new Biden administration would lead people to see the benefits of vaccination more broadly. If so, he said, “that means more people are getting vaccinated against influenza.” About half of Americans were vaccinated against the flu in the 2019-20 season. Figures for this year aren’t available yet.

And now your travel will require being vaccinated against seasonal flu! Tetsuya Mizutani, a virologist at the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, suggested requiring future air travelers to show they were vaccinated against the flu as well as Covid-19.

The world once considered it unavoidable that hundreds of thousands of people would die each year of the flu, Dr. Mizutani said, but “we need to ask ourselves whether we are going to continue to allow it in the future.” That’s right! Suck everyone into your agenda and then kill them with a future vaccination that REALLY does the job!

Source: Covid-19 Has Nearly Wiped Out the Flu—How Do We Keep It From Coming Back? – WSJ

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