Facilities that provide senior therapy and rehabilitation strive to safeguard residents against infectious diseases. At the present time, considerable media attention focuses upon COVID-19, a coronavirus. This contagious illness caused long-term care and assisted living centers in Georgia to implement rigorous infection control procedures. The measures used to prevent the spread of coronavirus may also hold some benefits in limiting the spread of influenza.
Today, medical scientists have studied flu extensively. This virus mutates with some frequency. Different strains of influenza typically circulate across the globe every year, with new variations of the virus emerging in some locations. This situation complicates the development of flu vaccines. Researchers frequently modify influenza vaccines in order to enhance their effectiveness.
During the era of WWI, an unusually severe strain of influenza circulated. It caused considerable hardship for people in the United States and many other nations. Today, the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (“CDC”) has established a division that focuses entirely upon tracking influenza. The CDC researchers work to predict the types of flu strains that will arise during any given year. Their work helps researchers create more effective flu vaccines.
A Surprising Finding
When the COVID-19 outbreak first occurred, some experts feared the coronavirus pandemic might result in a particularly hazardous flu season during 2020 and 2021. Both illnesses apparently spread in a similar manner. Yet some interesting reports arose last month from Australia. Located south of the Equator, Australia undergoes colder weather during the summer and warmer weather during the winter. Influenza typically poses a significant problem in Australia between April and October, with peak infection rates between June and August.
Surprisingly perhaps, many locations in Australia report significantly fewer influenza infections this year. Some health analysts attribute this result to the implementation of widespread public health measures against coronavirus. They noticed that (1) significantly more people have obtained flu vaccinations in Australia this year, and (2) some areas have limited large public gatherings in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. These findings may bode well for people residing in other places (like Georgia). If large numbers of people obtain flu vaccinations and practice social distancing measures, it may prevent the influenza virus from spreading as easily, too.