Sunday , April 11 2021

The numbers of flu, measles, mumps and rubella infections in the UK are falling sharply



Microscopic presentation of measles virus, paramyxoviridae from the Morbillivirus family. / Getty Images

Microscopic presentation of measles virus, paramyxoviridae from the Morbillivirus family. / Getty Images

Outbreaks of influenza, measles, mumps and rubella have been almost non-existent in the UK since the outbreak of COVID-19, a number of scientific data have confirmed.

Of the 685,243 samples tested by England’s public health, not a single case of influenza was detected in the first seven weeks of 2021.

The imposition of social distancing, combined with the prevalence of face coverings and hand washing, is attributed to the blockage of common routes of influenza transmission. The reduction in international travel and the increased intake of influenza vaccines probably also had a major impact.

Vanessa Saliba, head of flu at England’s Public Health, said this season’s flu immunization program is on track to be the most successful ever.

The drop in the number of cases has led some experts to suggest reconsidering the UK’s approach to the flu. Christina Pagel, a professor of operational research at University College London, told Independent: “This year there has been no flu season anywhere in the world, including the UK.

“People say we live with flu deaths every year and we assume they were inevitable. Still, obviously not. If we wanted to, we showed that we could reduce flu deaths to almost zero.”

While there will obviously be little public appetite for imposing locks to prevent the flu, the figures may add weight to suggestions that the public of the next mask wear masks to reduce new COVID-19 epidemics.

Extensive locks in the UK are partly due to keeping various serious viruses low. / Oli Scarff / AFP

Extensive locks in the UK are partly due to keeping various serious viruses low. / Oli Scarff / AFP

A separate study released by Public Health England on Tuesday found that there were no laboratory-confirmed cases of measles in the UK in the last quarter of 2020. With the last laboratory-confirmed case reported in March 2020, measles infections fell by 900 per cent last year – from 798 in 2019 to only 79.

“This sharp decline reflects the significant impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and related public health surveillance measures on the spread and detection of other infections, including measles,” the report said.

He added that a trend of decreasing measles notification has been noticed in the world.

There were also no laboratory-confirmed cases of rubella in the UK last year, while cases of mumps fell from 5,042 in 2019 to 3,216. Only five laboratory-confirmed mumps infections were registered in the UK between October and December.

Public health in England says the closure of universities and schools over the past 12 months has played a role in stopping the transmission of measles, mumps and rubella.

The study reported one negative consequence – a reduction in the number of children scheduled for the first dose of MMR vaccine at 12 months of age. England’s public health has said it is working on a recovery plan to vaccinate children who missed a stroke, to prevent outbreaks while epidemics are being eased.


Source link