Fears of a long-term “double epidemic” in the European Union


The flu returned to Europe at a faster rate than expected this winter after almost disappearing last year, which raised fears of a long-term “double epidemic” with the Corona virus, amid some doubts about the effectiveness of flu vaccines.

The closure measures, the placement of masks, and social distancing, which became the norm in Europe during the outbreak of Covid-19, temporarily last winter eliminated the influenza virus, which kills nearly 650,000 people globally annually, according to European Union data.

But the situation has now changed, as some countries have begun to adopt less stringent measures to combat the Corona virus, thanks to the spread of vaccines.

Data from the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization showed that since mid-December, the number of influenza cases in intensive care units rose gradually, reaching 43 cases in the last week of the year.

This number of infections is much lower than pre-pandemic levels, as the number of influenza cases in intensive care units exceeded 400 cases in the same period in 2018, for example.

But the data shows a significant increase in the number of cases compared to last year, when there was one case of influenza in the intensive care unit in the whole month of December.





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