Influenza: barrier measures, Australian scenario … why it could be more ferocious this year

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The flu could make a comeback this winter. In question, the abandonment of barrier gestures which had kept the disease at a distance for two years.

While the Minister of Health François Braun called on all vulnerable people to be vaccinated against the flu and the Covid, doctors now fear a return in force of the seasonal flu, in particular because of the Covid-19 pandemic and the social distancing measures that had been in place for two years.

The French will have to be vigilant this winter. Indeed, the seasonal flu could prove to be much more ferocious than the last two years because the barrier gestures put in place to counter the Covid had also kept it at bay. When François Braun calls for “vigilance”, the immunologist Alain Fischer has meanwhile alerted to a high risk of an epidemic.

“Covid-flu cohabitation”

In an interview with Le Parisien on September 28, the professor explained that this epidemic would be due to a relaxation of barrier gestures. “For two years, the flu has been kept at a distance, thanks to the barrier measures that we have put in place against the Covid. This year, it will be difficult to maintain the same level of protection: masks, distancing, washing intensive hands…” he said.

In addition, Alain Fischer also explained that he feared the emergence of a new variant like a “Covid-flu cohabitation”. “There is nothing to be pleased about. It is synonymous with a very high number of hospitalizations. Hence the objective of two strong vaccination campaigns – Covid and flu – especially for the most fragile”, a-t he warned.

At the same time, indicators of the flu epidemic that hit Australia alerted scientists. According to BFMTV, the country has recorded more monthly cases than in 2017 and 2019, years when contamination had already soared, including fatal cases. “What happened in Australia is an element of alert”, recalled Alain Fischer.

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