Flu Has Disappeared For More Than A Year
Mask wearing, social distancing and other steps to stop COVID-19 have also curtailed influenza
Since the novel coronavirus began its global spread, influenza cases reported to the World Health Organization from the Northern and Southern Hemispheres have dropped to minute levels. The reason, epidemiologists think, is that the public health measures taken to keep the coronavirus from spreadingnotably mask wearing and social distancingalso stop the flu. 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.
As Scientific American reported in November 2020, the drop-off in flu numbers following COVIDs arrival was swift and global. Since then, cases have stayed remarkably low. Theres just no flu circulating, says Greg Poland, who has studied the disease at the Mayo Clinic for decades. The U.S. saw about 700 deaths from influenza during the 20202021 season. In comparison, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates there were approximately 22,000 U.S. deaths in the prior season and 34,000 deaths two seasons ago.
Public health experts are grateful for the reprieve in cases. If the future includes more hand washing, face covering and temporary social distancing when people become sick, perhaps flu seasons can be less severe, even as health restrictions lift and groups gather together again.
A Comparative Analysis Of Covid
The flu and COVID-19 are very contagious respiratory infections caused by the influenza virus and SARS-COV-2 coronavirus, respectively. As respiratory viruses, they are transmitted from one infected individual to another via small, aerosolized particles during breathing or speaking/screaming/singing and by respiratory droplets. Evidence gathered throughout the pandemic has shown that the aerosol form is dominant in spreading the disease through communities, propelling the pandemic from region to region.
Aside from sharing some of the same symptoms of fever, cough, and chills, the comparison, even attempts to suggest that these two infections are the same, has been repeatedly promoted to downplay the dangers of COVID and compel workplaces and schools to open to ensure the economy is up and running. The blatant disregard for the populations health, given the calamity COVID has wrought, has been willfully criminal. However, what has also been lacking is an effort by the mainstream media to provide a more concrete scale by which people may compare COVIDs havoc to understand the true seriousness of this disease.
Therefore, it would be instructive place the figures for the flu and COVID toe to toe, to comprehend the magnitude of their differences and recognize the deceit being peddled to the population.
Certainly, other comparisons need to be made.
National Center For Health Statistics Mortality Surveillance
Based on NCHS mortality surveillance data available on December 16, 2021, 17.4% of the deaths that occurred during the week ending December 11, 2021 , were due to pneumonia, influenza, and/or COVID-19 . This percentage is above the epidemic threshold of 6.6% for this week. Among the 3,330 PIC deaths reported for this week, 2,569 had COVID-19 listed as an underlying or contributing cause of death on the death certificate, and eight listed influenza, indicating that current PIC mortality is due primarily to COVID-19 and not influenza. The data presented are preliminary and may change as more data are received and processed.
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This Is How Many People Die From The Flu Each Year According To The Cdc
Flu season in the US, which runs from October through May, normally claims tens of thousands of lives every year. But there’s never an exact number of flu deaths for any yearthat’s because the flu is not a reportable disease in most states, and not everyone who develops the flu seeks care or gets tested, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Instead, the agency develops estimates based on rates of laboratory-confirmed, flu-associated hospitalizations.
Last year, however, as the COVID-19 pandemic dominated the US, influenza cases were at an all-time low: Data from the CDC, supplied toJAMA, shows that out of 1.3 million specimens collected by labs between October 3, 2020 and July 24, 2021, only 2,136 were positive for influenza. Of those 2,136 influenza cases, there were only 748 flu-related deaths.
That’s a huge difference from the rates of the 20192020 flu season. Per the CDC, there were an estimated 35 million flu-related illnessesthat number includes 16 million medical visit for the flu 380,000 flu-related hospitalizations and 20,000 deaths due to influenza.
Of course, those data are only from two specific yearsand they show two very different ways the flu impacted the US population. Here’s what you need to know about how many people die from the flu each year, on average, what infectious disease experts are expecting for the upcoming 20212022 flu season, and how to protect yourself.
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Turning Flu Cases Into Covid Through Manipulationeasy As Pie
Since 1988, Ive been pointing out that relabeling and repackaging disease is standard operating procedure in the field of pandemic medicine.
And now we have this, from FOX News : But while cases of COVID-19 soared nationwide, hospitalizations and deaths caused by influenza dropped.
According to data released by the CDC earlier this month, influenza mortality rates were significantly lower throughout 2020 than previous years.
There were 646 deaths relating to the flu among adults reported in 2020, whereas in 2019 the CDC estimated that between 24,000 and 62,000 people died from influenza-related illnesses.
You might want to read those numbers again. The drop in flu deaths was miraculous. Perhaps the Vatican has a clue.
Rochester Regional Health has issued a flu report covering the same time periods:
As of the most recent updates from the CDC, the 2021 flu season impacted a much lower number of people than usual in all major regions of the United States.
Here are a few numbers to sum up the 2020/2021 flu season, running from October 1, 2020 to April 1, 2021646 deaths were attributed to the flu.
The final data on flu season 2019/2020 was released by the CDC in April as COVID-19 continued to spread throughout the United States. Between October 1, 2019 and April 4, 2020, the flu resulted in: 24,000 to 62,000 deaths.
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Was The Flu Vaccine Effective In 2020
The flu shot is developed at the start of each season to protect from strains of the flu. More than 170 million doses of the flu vaccine were administered to fight the 2019/2020 flu virus. At the beginning of the year, the vaccine reduced doctor’s visits by 45% overall and 55% in children, but rates among children and young adults were higher earlier in the season compared to recent seasons.
“The vaccine has significantly reduced medical visits associated with influenza so far this season,” the CDC announced in its February 21 report.
If you have already received your vaccine for the 2020/2021 season, you dont need to get a second shot–except children under the age of 9 who are getting vaccinated for the first time.
While its possible to get the flu even if you get the shot, vaccination reduces your risk of getting sick and may lessen the severity of the symptoms if you do, explained the CDC’s Lynnette Brammer.
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Flu Cases In Us Hit Historic Lows: Doctor Explains Why
The CDC is being modest influenza is at record-setting lows, Dr. William Schaffner, professor of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee, told TODAY.
The flu virus is not circulating in our population the way it normally does.
He and his colleagues have been conducting flu surveillance since the 1990s and have never seen illness levels close to this low, Schaffner noted.
Flu activity is significantly down, added Dr. Nisa Maruthur, a primary care physician and associate professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
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We Need To Be Vigilant Going Into The Next Flu Season
We dont need lockdowns to mitigate future flu seasons. They would be too burdensome and an excessive response in a typical flu season.
But still, well need a good deal of vigilance, particularly next flu season. Scientists arent exactly sure how the flu will evolve in response to this weird new environment.
We have no idea how obliterating the flu for an entire year affects its evolution, Kissler says. That might make it harder for vaccine developers to pick the right strains for next years vaccines. We dont know if its going to be easier to predict next years flu strain, because it hasnt been spreading as much. Or if its going to be a lot harder, because its gone through this really tight what we call an evolutionary bottleneck.
Heres what we do know: We can beat back the flu with our behavior. Covid-19, in part, has shown us how to do it, Kissler says.
Weekly Us Influenza Surveillance Report
Note: CDC is tracking the COVID-19 pandemic in a weekly publication called COVID Data Tracker Weekly Review.
All data are preliminary and may change as more reports are received.
A description of the CDC influenza surveillance system, including methodology and detailed descriptions of each data component is available on the surveillance methods page.
Additional information on the current and previous influenza seasons for each surveillance component are available on FluView Interactive.
Seasonal influenza activity in the United States is increasing, including indicators that track hospitalizations. The amount of activity varies by region.
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Will The Flu Return
Professor Barr said “it will come back for sure”, when international borders reopen.
“What we don’t know is the timing of that and how quarantine is going to open up, whether there’s going to be some level of quarantine, home quarantine, or something like that,” he said.
“Which may ameliorate major outbreaks but I think this is golden times for a lack of influenza. I don’t think we’ll see these times ever again.”
Dr Short said the concern was that because we have had a few seasons, without the natural boost to our immunity that seasonal flu provides, we will be more susceptible to the virus in the future.
“So maybe we’re going into a severe flu outbreak,” she said.
“The optimistic side is because we haven’t had much flu circulating, maybe the virus hasn’t mutated so much, so that our past vaccines will still provide good protection.
“The reality is, we don’t know and it really could go either way.”
She said researchers were going to be carefully watching the upcoming winter season in the northern hemisphere, especially with more borders opening and travel occurring compared to last year.
“It’s really difficult to say but it’s definitely something we all need to be watching because the last thing we want is to have a bad flu season after going through everything with COVID.”
Professor Barr said RSV has been a good lesson in how quickly a virus can reappear.
Total Flu Deaths Suspiciously Dropped To Zero For The 2020
March 7, 2021 By James Bailey
We dont hear much in the news about the tens of thousands of people dying each year from the flu, so most of us dont realize how deadly it is. As shown in the chart below, total annual worldwide flu deaths consistently exceeded 50,000 people in 2017, 2018 and again in 2019, but strangely dropped to zero starting in early 2020 and have remained there ever since.
As shown on the chart, there was another big spike during the 2019-2020 flu season with over 50,000 deaths, but then it dropped all the way to zero during the 2020-2021 flu season, which I find interesting because early 2020 is when the first significant numbers of COVID-19 deaths were reported. Never before in the history of flu reporting has it ever dropped to zero, but suddenly and without any explanation it happened at the same time as COVID-19 deaths started ramping up. And the data clearly shows flu deaths had been increasing at an alarming rate over the past decade, so how could it have suddenly dropped to zero?
Doesnt this look suspicious? Are we being lied to with phony COVID-19 death totals, purposely inflated to strike fear in us? This is just one of many facts revealing why I believe the answer is ABSOLUTELY YES.
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Influenza Activity Surveillance Graph 2021
This report provides a summary of influenza surveillance data collected from around Australia and New Zealand. Regional reporting in some areas ceases when influenza activity is low . Please note that many people do not get tested for influenza and that there may also be some delays in reporting confirmed influenza cases.
Therefore data presented here may be underestimating influenza activity.
Flu Cases Dropped By 55 Million At Most
Cissy Lala, the Twitter user who made the claim in April, told USA TODAY in an email she found the 379 million figure on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. But USA TODAY found no evidence the CDC ever shared that figure.
She also pointed to a USA TODAY article from May regarding the decrease in flu cases during the most recent winter season.
In that article, however, USA TODAY reported the change between the two years was closer to 36 million.
The CDC said there were 2,038 flu cases reported in the United States between Sept. 27, 2020, and April 24, USA TODAY reported. The season before, between October 2019 and April 2020, the agency estimated about 38 million cases of flu.
A on the count of flu cases for the 2020-2021 season, which the agency designated to be between Sept. 28, 2020, and May 22, said about 1,675 people tested positive for an influenza virus.
The latest flu estimates from the CDC say between 39 million and 56 million people were sick with the flu in the 2019-20 season.
So at most, that’s around 55 million fewer cases in one year not 379 million.
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Influenza A Vs Influenza B
Both strains of influenza cause typical flu symptoms, like fever, fatigue, body aches, chills, sore throat, and cough. Its unlikely patients would be able to tell the difference between A or B without a lab test. However, Influenza B is slower to develop, which is why it typically appears later in the season. Its also more likely to impact children and younger adults instead of the elderly. This could explain why more people were infected with the flu earlier in the year over previous years, but the number of hospitalizations and deaths were lower.
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Data on the overall pattern of outpatient visits dont support this conclusion, however. For instance, even during the Covid-19 spike of November-December 2020, outpatient visits remained stable. If anything, there was a small reduction in outpatient visits overall during the 2020-2021 flu season. So, even if we cant precisely quantify how % ILI in 2020-2021 compared with previous years, it is reasonable to conclude that it is much lower.
Another way to measure the amount of flu activity is to look at influenza-related mortality. Only a very small percentage of influenza illnesses result in death , but these are closely tracked through the National Center for Health Statistics Mortality Surveillance System.
The following plot shows all pneumonia, influenza, and Covid-19 mortality from 2017 to the present. The most striking pattern, of course, is the three waves of Covid-19 in 2020. More subtly, but important for our purposes, is the virtual disappearance of influenza deaths in 2020 .
Pneumonia, influenza, and Covid-19 mortality from 2017-2021
Pediatric deaths from influenza in the US, 2017-2021.
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What About The Flu Vaccine
Professor Barr said there has also been a reduction in flu vaccination uptake this year, with just 33.3 per cent of Australians getting the jab.
However, about 80 per cent of those over 65 are vaccinated.
The low number of cases has made developing new vaccines difficult.
“Let’s just say it’s been tricky,” Professor Barr said.
“Normally we have a very good influx on samples from not just Australia, but New Zealand and other surrounding countries so we’ve been scratching around for samples in the last 18 months.
“It’s an interesting time, because we’ve never seen the virus under this sort of pressure before.”
What Information Do States Report
The CDC tracks LIL activity levels in each state and presents a weekly flu surveillance report. LIL activity levels are defined as the following:
- Very High
State health departments track flu data provided by hospitals, clinics, clinical laboratories, and healthcare organizations. These reports can include information like the number of flu tests conducted, positivity rates, and the number of flu-like illnesses that providers saw in the patients they treated.
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The Flu Season That Never Was: Health Agency Says Only 66 Cases Confirmed In Canada This Year
This article was published more than 1 year ago. Some information may no longer be current.
A man walks pass a sign for flu shots in Toronto, on Jan. 9, 2018.The Canadian Press
The 2021 flu season will go down in history as the epidemic that never was.
But this year, the Public Health Agency of Canada says there was a total of just 66 confirmed cases as of March 20.
The federal agency says the case numbers are so low they havent even met the threshold to declare the flu season as having begun.
There has been no evidence of flu spreading in the community, no confirmed outbreaks and the number of hospitalizations and deaths due to the flu is zero.
Canadas chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam says the public health measures in place to slow the spread of COVID-19 have helped keep the flu at bay, but also other infectious diseases like measles not diagnosed once in Canada in more than a year.
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