EU warned about ‘twindemic’ — Analysis
European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDPC) has warned about two threats to the EU: influenza and Covid.
The spread of influenza across Europe has sparked concerns about the risk of a prolonged ‘twindemic’, as the high Covid transmission rate raises fears about the pressure on already overstretched European health systems.
Experts believe that a combination of Covid lockdowns and enforced mask-wearing along with social distancing requirements across the continent almost eliminated the flu in last winter.
The ECDC however believes that relaxed restrictions will lead to a rise in influenza cases. According to the European Organization, flu viruses are spreading faster than expected across Europe. Intensive care unit visits rose at December’s end.
Speaking to Reuters, the ECDC’s influenza expert, Pais Penttinen, expressed “big concern” about influenza as countries “start to lift all measures,”Alert cases may be possible “shift away from normal seasonal patterns.”
The ECDC warns that removing Covid restrictions by May’s end could result in an extension of the influenza-like twindemic.
The flu virus H3 has been the most prevalent this year, causing severe illness in elderly patients. This could lead to increased hospitalizations.
Six regional countries – Armenia, Belarus, Serbia, France, Georgia, and Estonia – have recorded seasonal influenza activity above the normal threshold in primary care. Seven additional countries have experienced widespread flu activity or moderate intensity.
France is witnessing three flu-related epidemics, as per data from the French Health Ministry. The department has warned them about the situation. “is still large room for improvement”Flu shots are recommended to reduce the severity of the disease.
The fears of a twindemic come amid reports of ‘flurona’, with an Israeli woman becoming the latest individual to be infected with Covid and flu simultaneously.
Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO), called for increased surveillance against Covid in light of Omicron’s spread. “huge amount of uncertainty.”
Addressing the situation, the WHO’s regional director for Europe, Dr. Hans Kluge, warned there is a “closing window of opportunity”In order to avoid health systems being overwhelmed.
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