Covid and flu - why is it such a lethal combo? Expert claims 60,000 fatalities 'realistic'

Asia's Tech News Daily

The coronavirus pandemic has left Britain open to a deadly flu epidemic prompting the UK Government to urge eligible individuals to take up the offer of the influenza vaccine and booster Covid jabs. Influenza infections declined dramatically in 2020 due to Covid restrictions quashing the spread of these viruses – but this year with restrictions eased, experts are warning of the potentially devastating combination of COVID-19 and the flu.

The coronavirus pandemic has been the worst and most urgent global medical crisis in many years.

Every country around the world has been fighting against the virus – but now as the winter months draw closer, the Government has taken steps to ramp up its influenza vaccination efforts to protect more lives.

© GETTY Covid and flu: Covid patient

The big concern this year is if there is a resurgence of Covid with other respiratory illnesses coming back strongly alongside it, particularly the flu.

Influenza infections rapidly declined and largely disappeared across many nations last year as the Covid pandemic took prominence.

Social distancing measures used to contain COVID were even more effective in reducing the spread of influenza.

However, as Covid protections have been eased in many countries this year, the UK and other countries are braced for a particularly ferocious flu season.

© GETTY Covid and flu: Vaccine

Professor Martin Michaelis a virologist and professor of molecular medicine at the University of Kent said more research is needed to understand about co-infections of Covid and the flu, but essentially dealing with both at the same time stresses the bodily system.

Professor Michaelis told Express.co.uk: “We know that such co-infections happen in humans. Moreover, there are data from human patients and animal experiments suggesting that infections with both viruses result in more severe disease and higher mortality.

“However, more research is needed to understand the impact of co-infections in more detail and to investigate the underlying molecular processes.

“It makes intuitive sense that simultaneously dealing with two viruses is more difficult for the immune system than dealing with just one virus at a time.”

© GETTY Covid and flu: Vaccine

Britain could be hit with an early flu outbreak as a result of cases already soaring, a London’s Francis Crick Institute flu scientist this week warned.

This damning assessment came amid a warning immunity against the flu virus was so low after the coronavirus lockdowns, this year as many as 60,000 could be killed as a result.

These horrifying figures prompted the Government to ramp up its vaccination efforts for the flu – vaccinating more individuals than is typical and urging all vulnerable people to get jabbed as soon as possible.

Professor Michaelis warned 60,000 deaths is a “realistic scenario”.

He told Express.co.uk: “The number of severe COVID-19 cases is unlikely to surge in the same way as last winter due to the immunity provided by vaccines and previous infections.”

The virologist said it is however difficult to forecast how a flu season will develop as the influenza viruses change each year.

© GETTY Covid and flu: Ambulance

As a result of variations with influenza each year, the vaccine is often adapted each year to tackle the most prominent and prolific strains.

But cases of the flu dropped so significantly last year meaning scientists have not has as much information upon which to base their design for this year’s flu vaccine.

Professor Michaelis told Express.co.uk: “The efficacy of the flu vaccines depends on how well the virus strains, which are used for the vaccines, match the influenza viruses that will actually be circulating…After a year largely without flu cases, such predictions are more difficult than normal.”

The molecular medicine expert added: “Low flu levels in the human population mean that it is more likely that new strains, against which we have little pre-existing immunity, replace the old ones, against which we have already developed some level of immunity in the past.

“At the same time, unexpected changes can also affect the efficacy of the vaccines, because they may not match well. Indeed, early data seem to suggest that some influenza virus strains, which used to be among the most dominant ones in humans, may have largely or completely disappeared.

“If other unexpected influenza viruses can fill this gap, this may result in a particularly bad flu season.”

He added vaccination for both Covid and the flu this year is crucial.

Professor Michaelis said: “Hopefully, high vaccination rates and increased caution turn the dire projections into self-defeating prophecies.”

© EXPRESS.CO.UK Covid and flu: Covid winter plan

The combination of flu and Covid is dangerous not only for the individual infected – but also for the UK’s healthcare system.

Professor Michaelis said the impact of coronavirus and the flu together could put the NHS and hospitals under immense pressure.

He told Express.co.uk, if the flu season turns out to be particularly bad this winter, the hospitals “might be at risk of becoming overwhelmed again.”

Last year, Covid protective measures suppressed the spread of the flu “almost completely” the virologist claimed – but now with restrictions lifted, it is expected the flu will return.

The University of Kent virologist said the resurgence of the common cold so far this year – at rates much higher than normally seen – is another indicator the Government’s fears about Covid and the flu are justified.

He said common colds, like the influenza virus, were quickly returned after the removal of all COVID-19 measures.

Professor Michaelis told Express.co.uk: “The current level of infections with common cold viruses is much higher than it used to be at this time of the year.

“Thus, it seems likely that we will see a similar picture with the flu and that the return of the common colds heralds the return of the flu.”

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related

OTHER NEWS

Ralf Rangnick will find it 'difficult' to get Manchester United into the top four claims Jamie Carragher... who insists 'five or six' players won't suit the interim manager's style of play

Ralf Rangnick is set to join Manchester United as their new interim managerJamie Carragher says Ragnick will have a 'clear plan' of what he wants to doThe Sky Sports pundit feels some players will struggle to adapt to his system  Read more »

Inside the bizarre world of 'timeline shifters': The TikTok users who claim they teleport to a parallel universe by using extreme temperature change in the shower as their portal

Viral TikTok movement sees users say the shower is a portal for time travelThey claim they change the temperature from hot to cold and shift zones Kady Rox , from Nashville, claims she was on a plane on a school trip in 2017, where she sat with a group of classmates, but they claim to have missed flight  She is one of hundreds of TikTok users who claim to have 'changed timelines'Claim you can 'manifest' your desired timeline with 7 simple steps in the shower Read more »

Adept Style: Machamp Holowear coming to Pokémon UNITE on Dec. 3

© Provided by Dot Esports Another Premium Holowear is being added to Pokémon UNITE. On Dec. 3, Machamp and its evolutionary line will get a look based on different types ... Read more »

Jess Wright is set to become a mum in 2022

© Bang Showbiz Jess Wright is pregnant with her first child Jess Wright is expecting her first child. The 36-year-old TV star and her businessman spouse, William Lee-Kemp – who ... Read more »

Michael Cohen: prosecutors could ‘indict Trump tomorrow' if they wanted

Photograph: Lawrence Neumeister/AP New York investigation of Trump Organization is one of a number of sources of legal jeopardy for the former president Prosecutors in New York could “indict Donald ... Read more »

Follow COVID-appropriate behaviour to avoid lockdown: Maharashtra CM to people amid concerns over new strain

Asking people not to lower their guard against coronavirus in view of the new Omicron variant detected in South Africa, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday said the state ... Read more »

I hate my wife's name – it's ‘tooth-grindingly annoying' but she says she'll leave me if I don't call her it

A WIFE is threatening to leave her husband if he doesn’t start calling her by her unusual nickname – but he finds it unbelievably annoying.  Most parents come up with ... Read more »

Jussie Smollett to go on trial in alleged hoax attack that once captivated Chicago

Thirty-three months, one mayor and two police superintendents ago, before Chicago joined a nationwide reckoning on race and suffered through a deadly pandemic, the city’s attention was captivated by one ... Read more »

Omicron variant 'a great reason to go get boosted,' NIH director says

A health staffer performs a COVID-19 test at Sydney International Airport on Sunday. (James D. Morgan/Getty Images) Dr. Francis Collins, the director of the National Institutes of Health, said Sunday ... Read more »

ITV Sitting on a Fortune: Gary Lineker's insane net worth, son's cancer battle, and model ex-wife

Gary Lineker is the British television icon best known for his football career and subsequent role as host of Match of the Day . The 60-year-old played for Leicester City ... Read more »

Third case of Omicron Covid variant detected in UK

A third case of the Omicron Covid variant has been confirmed in the UK, officials have said, as Sajid Javid insisted the government is “nowhere near” having to reimpose mandatory ... Read more »

Fewer touches than Fabianski: West Ham passenger who made 8 passes badly failed Moyes - opinion

© Provided by Football FanCast West Ham midfielder Said Benrahma during warm up Said Benrahama was a complete non-factor as West Ham United picked up back-to-back defeats in the Premier ... Read more »

Leicester vs Watford result as James Maddison shines again to ruin Claudio Ranieri return

© PA Wire James Maddison, right, helped Leicester to victory over Watford in testing conditions (Tim Goode/PA) – PA Wire James Maddison inspired Leicester to a swashbuckling 4-2 win over ... Read more »

Premier League top scorers 2021/22: Jamie Vardy closes to within two goals of Mohamed Salah

© AFP via Getty Images mosalahliverpoolarsenal.jpg Mohamed Salah is leading the race for the 2021/22 Premier League Golden Boot. A tally of 11 goals is enough for the Liverpool attacker ... Read more »

Roy Keane reacts to Manchester United's decision to bench Cristiano Ronaldo vs Chelsea

Roy Keane has admitted that he is “surprised” by caretaker manager Michael Carrick’s decision to drop Cristiano Ronaldo to the bench for Manchester United’s trip to Chelsea this afternoon. Ronaldo ... Read more »

Gerrard could land perfect AVFC signing with “hungry” £18m-rated gem likened to Suarez - opinion

© Provided by Football FanCast alvarez After the departure of Dean Smith at Aston Villa, the club’s new manager Steven Gerrard has had the perfect start by winning his first ... Read more »

Gary Neville has Ralf Rangnick theory after Manchester United's surprise line-up vs Chelsea

Former captain Gary Neville believes incoming interim manager Ralf Rangnick may have had a say on Manchester United’s starting line-up against Chelsea this afternoon, following Cristiano Ronaldo’s omission from the ... Read more »

The three players Man City had to 'control' in 'tough' West Ham win

Rodri has pinpointed Michail Antonio, Said Benrahma and Pablo Fornals as three of the players that Manchester City had to ‘control’ in their hard-fought victory over West Ham. City had ... Read more »

DJ Zinhle hits the mark with new release 'Siyabonga'

© Provided by Independent Online (IOL) DJ Zinhle has finally released her collaboration with award-winning duo Black Motion, amapiano pioneer Kabza De Small and vocalist Nokwazi. Zinhle’s first release of ... Read more »

BuCor firm on securing Bilibid reservation

© Jesse Bustos BuCor firm on securing Bilibid reservation MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) yesterday stood pat on its decision to build a wall along a road in ... Read more »

The West Block – Episode 5, Season 11

© Global News THE WEST BLOCK Episode 5, Season 11 Sunday, November 28, 2021 Host: Mercedes Stephenson Guests: General Wayne Eyre, Chief of the Defence Staff Jagmeet Singh, NDP Leader  ... Read more »

As COVID-19 strains nurses, Singh says feds must ease barriers for those trained abroad

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh says Ottawa must make it easier for nurses trained abroad to contribute to the fight against COVID-19 in Canada, as the virus continues to strain health-care ... Read more »

Omicron: Vaccines May Partially Work Against New Variant, Ex-ICMR Scientist Dr Gangakhedkar Says

© Provided by News18 Omicron: Vaccines May Partially Work Against New Variant, Ex-ICMR Scientist Dr Gangakhedkar Says Amid growing concerns over Omicron, former Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) scientist ... Read more »

Delhi CM urges PM Modi to stop flights from Omicron-affected countries

Delhi CM urges PM Modi to stop flights from Omicron-affected countries Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to put a stop to incoming ... Read more »

Boebert apologizes to Muslim community after Ilhan Omar comments: 'I have reached out to her'

Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., on Friday apologized to the Muslim community for comments she made about Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., that many deemed Islamophobic. “I apologize to anyone in the ... Read more »

Rep. Lauren Boebert silent on criticism after she said Pete Buttigieg was trying to 'chest feed' at same event she implied Rep. Ilhan Omar was a terrorist

Rep. Lauren Boebert speaks during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol June 23, 2021 in Washington, DC.Win McNamee/Getty Images GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert has so far not responded to ... Read more »

Police granted more time to question man over woman's disappearance

Detectives investigating the disappearance of a mother of two have been granted more time to question a man arrested on suspicion of her murder. The 40-year-old was arrested on Thursday ... Read more »

Man and woman found stabbed to death in north London

Two people have been stabbed to death in north London. Metropolitan Police officers and paramedics were called to Mayes Road in Wood Green shortly after 9.30am on Sunday after concerns ... Read more »

Omar seeks action over House colleague's remarks on Muslims

1 / 2Omar-Boebert-Anti-Muslim RemarksFILE – Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., speaks at a news conference held by members of the House Freedom Caucus on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 29, 2021. ... Read more »

Dutch impose new tighter lockdown amid spiking infections

1 / 10APTOPIX Virus Outbreak NetherlandsA lone girl waits for a tram in a near-deserted street full of closed restaurants, bars and shop under a partial lockdown in Amsterdam, Netherlands, ... Read more »

Bengaluru and Blasters end equals in a thrilling contest

© Provided by The Statesman Bengaluru and Blasters end equals in a thrilling contest  In a matter of four minutes, Ashique Kuruniyan turned hero to villain as his goals at ... Read more »

When faultlines are too exposed, there's no easy way to rebuild after an earthquake

There was a moment of levity on Friday, in the midst of an otherwise sombre unveiling of the ECB’s new anti-racism action plan, when one senior journalist – caught on ... Read more »

The Big Picture, 28 November 2021, Written Update: Ashiyana advises girls to be strong

© Provided by Pinkvilla In today’s episode, we saw Shagir was thinking and Ranveer questions if he can give the answer to this question. Ranveer again announces that this question ... Read more »

Japanese film 'Ring Wandering' get Golden Peacock at 52nd IFFI

© IANS Ring Wandering Panaji, Nov 28 (IANS) Director Masakazu Kaneko’s Japanese film “Ring Wandering” (“Ringu Wandaringu”) took the top honour on the concluding day of the 52nd International Film ... Read more »

Cardiff, Munster to remain in Cape Town after positive tests

Cardiff and Munster are to remain in Cape Town after both clubs returned positive coronavirus tests. The clubs are among several European rugby union teams that were in South Africa ... Read more »

Roy Keane questions Cristiano Ronaldo snub after Man Utd star dropped vs Chelsea

Roy Keane admitted he was shocked to see Cristiano Ronaldo left out of the Manchester United team by Michael Carrick for the crunch clash with Chelsea. Ronaldo has been prolific ... Read more »

India vs New Zealand: Pressure mounts on Ajinkya Rahane even as team management continues to back him

© Provided by Firstpost India vs New Zealand: Pressure mounts on Ajinkya Rahane even as team management continues to back him Ajinkya Rahane, the stand-in Test captain, is nine wickets ... Read more »

Carlton Cole sparks uproar by using the word 'Holocaust' on BBC radio

Carlton Cole has sparked uproar by claiming West Ham vs Manchester City could end up being a “Holocaust.” The ex-Irons striker outraged listeners by making reference to the mass genocide ... Read more »

Indian women's football team aims better show against Chile

© Provided by The Times of India It’s another day and another top-class challenge awaits the Indian women as they take on Chile in their second match of the Torneio ... Read more »

Carrick sets out stall over Ronaldo Man Utd benching with ‘a few tweaks' comment

Manchester United caretaker boss Michael Carrick has hinted at a change of policy after opting to bench Cristiano Ronaldo for Sunday’s clash with Chelsea. © PA Images Manchester United striker ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic