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What to expect this influenza season

Ian McGovern, Epidemiologist, Senior Manager at CSL Seqirus, discusses new data on influenza gathered in a recent study, and how influenza rates are expecting to rise in the 2022 to 2023 flu season.

In this video interview, Ian McGovern, epidemiologist, senior manager at CSL Seqirus, discussed the results of a recent study: "A Retrospective Database Analysis to Estimate the Epidemiology and Burden of Influenza in Children 0-14 Years Over 10 Consecutive Seasons."

McGovern noted how hospitals' resources are strained during the influenza season, even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 700,000 hospitalizations occur in the United States because of influenza annually, infection control measures draining hospital resources to prevent further spread.

COVID-19 has magnified the stress, according to McGovern, with fears of a "twindemic" occuring this season. This would be a case where influenza and COVID-19 both spread in the population, the number of infections pushing hospitals past their limits. Without proper resources in hospitals, mortality rates may rise.

For the past 2 years, COVID-19 precautions have led to drastically reduced cases of influenza. McGovern noted this reduces the possibility of people having a natural immunization, making them more susceptible to the flu. Young children are especially at risk, based on the study's results.

Currently, influenza vaccines are the primary mode of prevention against severe cases of influenza, making them crucial among children. However, certain populations experience barriers to receiving vaccines. McGovern stated that these issues should be recognized and addressed so that more children may be vaccinated.

As a final note, McGovern recommended that parents speak with their child's health care provider and schedule an appointment to get vaccinated.