Centers for Disease Control and Prevention influenza experts are concerned that the United States could be at risk for a severe flu season this year, Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky warned Wednesday.
According to CNBC News, That’s because the U.S. population may now have reduced immunity against influenza after seasonal flu cases reached an all-time low last year when large parts of the nation were shut down, Walensky told reporters during a White House press briefing.
During the 2020-2021 flu season, there were very few flu cases, “largely because of masking and physical distancing and other prevention measures put in place for the Covid-19 pandemic,” she said.
Another report revealed that during the 2020-2021 influenza season, there have been very few cases of influenza, “largely because of the masking and physical distancing and other preventive measures put in place for the Covid pandemic. 19, “she said.
There were about 2,000 cases of the flu this past flu season, according to data released to the CDC. For comparison, the 2019-20 flu season saw about 35 million cases, according to the agency.
Walensky urged Americans to get vaccinated against both Covid and the flu, saying vaccinations are not only important in ending the pandemic, but also in preventing other infectious diseases.
An increase in influenza infections this winter could place an additional burden on the country’s healthcare system, increasing stress on healthcare workers who are already battling a high number of hospitalizations from Covid, she said.