Europe is on the brink of a twindemic

(ORDO NEWS) — Twyndemia is a surge in the incidence of Covid-19 against the backdrop of an increase in the number of patients infected with the influenza virus, which disappeared from our field of vision for a while in 2020-2021.

Europe, which in recent months has been covered by another wave of coronavirus, this time caused by an omicron strain , is now on the verge of a “twindemic” – a simultaneous rise in the incidence of Covid-19 and an increase in cases of influenza infection. According to Reuters , the situation is causing concern among health officials due to the risk of infrastructure overload.

In 2020-2021, due to strict restrictions – lockdowns, travel bans, widespread wearing of masks, social distancing measures – European countries (and not only) for some time defeated the flu , from which, according to experts, about 650 people died annually thousand people in the world.

On the eve of the new year, he began to return, and this is associated with the easing of restrictive measures amid high rates of vaccination against Covid-19.

According to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), last December the number of patients with influenza in intensive care units in Europe jumped sharply: in the last week of 2021, at least 43 cases were recorded, while in the same period of 2020- There was only one such case.

“The number of influenza cases detected in the WHO European Region is higher than we normally expect among the population for the second week in a row. This indicates the beginning of the so-called seasonal flu epidemic,” the World Health Organization said.

Of course, the incidence rates are still far below pre-pandemic levels: for comparison, over the same period in 2018, the number of people who were admitted to intensive care units with influenza every week exceeded 400.

However, doctors are concerned about the fact that the H3 influenza A virus remains the dominant strain that circulates in the population – it is especially dangerous for the elderly.

The researchers admit that currently available vaccines “will not be optimal” against H3, because their composition was determined at a time when the virus was practically not circulating. As a result, it was difficult for manufacturers to predict which variant of the flu would become the most common.

According to ECDC chief flu expert Pasi Penttinen, the return of an old problem could open a long flu season – and Europe will not cope with the virus until the summer. As a result, tweendemia will put pressure on health systems that are already overwhelmed. France has already faced an influenza epidemic: 72 severe cases have been registered there this season, six patients have died.

But twindemia threatens not only the EU. So, if last year the incidence of influenza in the United States reached an all-time low – against the backdrop of many patients with Covid-19 – now the number of cases of influenza is growing, and the micro-strain of coronavirus is not receding.

In Israel, not a single case was recorded during the 2020 flu season, and from September to December 2021, 208 people were already hospitalized with it in hospitals. This is about twice as much as in the same period of 2019. There is also one patient with fluron – that is, he is infected with both SARS-CoV-2 and the flu.

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