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2021-22 Flu Season Predictions – Is This the Year of the Twindemic?

So of course, all of the predictions of a twindemic last year were wrong. While we had plenty of COVID, there was no flu activity all year, not that anyone was complaining.

So what can we expect this year?

2021-22 Flu Season Predictions

Sure, we may continue to see more COVID, as new variants fuel repeated surges thanks to relatively low vaccination rates in many parts of the country.

And the flu?

“Flu activity was unusually low throughout the 2020-2021 flu season both in the United States and globally, despite high levels of testing.”

2020-2021 Flu Season Summary

After a very quite flu season, is it coming back this year?

If you have any doubts, what do you think is holding it back?

International travel is still way below pre-pandemic levels, even though domestic travel has rebounded.
International travel is still way below pre-pandemic levels, even though domestic travel has rebounded.

More and more folks are traveling again, schools are all open, and fewer and fewer people are wearing masks.

All of which seems like an open invitation to the flu virus!

Is This the Year of the Twindemic?

Does that mean that the twindemic, an epidemic of flu and COVID, is finally coming?

“Globally, despite continued or even increased testing for influenza in some countries, influenza activity remained at lower levels than expected for this time of the year.”

Influenza Update N° 402

The first thing you should notice before making your prediction, despite the increase in traveling, open schools, and fewer people wearing masks, has been the lack of flu activity in the Southern Hemisphere this ‘winter.’

Typically, this part of the world is coming off peaks in flu activity in August – the end of their winter season.

There were no flu deaths in Australia this year!

And this year, once again, they didn’t have any flu activity.

Are you surprised?

You probably shouldn’t be, after all, there was no flu activity anywhere else either.

So if Australia can essentially skip a flu season for two years in a row, why can’t the rest of the world?

Maybe, because the flu is very unpredictable?

“In Southern Asia, influenza detections of predominately influenza A(H3N2) continued to increase in India and Nepal.”

Influenza Update N° 402, 13 September 2021

And we are finally seeing signs of some flu activity out there!

“Most antigenically novel and evolutionarily successful strains of seasonal influenza A (H3N2) originate in East, South and Southeast Asia.”

Explaining the geographical origins of seasonal influenza A (H3N2)

This comes at a time when easing restrictions will likely spur more and more international travel.

“Once the vaccination requirement is put in place, the White House will ease all the country-specific restrictions on international travel that have prevented noncitizens who have been in the United Kingdom, European Union, China, India, Iran, Republic of Ireland, Brazil or South Africa in the prior 14 days from entering the U.S.”

Q&A: America’s new COVID-19 rules for international travel

So, we have exactly what we need to stimulate a coming flu epidemic this year – as flu activity begins in some parts of the world, we have more countries opening their borders and there will be a big increase in international travel.

A flu epidemic that could be even worse than usual because we skipped having a flu season last year, so fewer people got sick and they didn’t develop any natural immunity to protect them this year.

Have you gotten a flu vaccine yet?

More on Flu Season Predictions

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