Winter is around the corner and health officials are predicting a rough few months with a ‘twindemic’–increased cases of COVID and influenza hitting at the same time and infecting high numbers of people. Although we haven’t experienced a terrible flu season the last two years, this year is different. UC Davis Health says, “Last year, people were worried about a bad flu season on top of COVID, and it didn’t happen because everybody was masking and social distancing. Many things were still closed because of lockdowns. We had historically low rates of influenza and other respiratory virus transmission last year.”

Dean Blumberg, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at UC Davis Children’s Hospital shares that last year “at UC Davis Medical Center, we didn’t have anybody admitted for influenza last year. In a normal year, somewhere between 40 and 150 kids die from influenza in the U.S., but last year, one child died from influenza. That just shows you how much the masking and social distancing really helped. This year, things are much more open and we are already seeing the transmission of respiratory viruses like influenza in the community. So it’s not going to be the same. People have lost a year in terms of being exposed to influenza and developing some sort of protective immunity.”

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