HOUSTON — There may be a silver living to the coronavirus pandemic. According to reports, there have been so little influenza cases that a couple strains may have gone extinct.
Let’s connect the dots.
One side effect of COVID-19 has been a non-existent flu season. Experts say everything we did to stop the coronavirus — such as wearing face masks, social distancing, school closure and more frequent hand washing — also helped flu cases drop to historic lows.
It's not just that we didn't have a lot of flu cases, but also that two strains of it were not reported anywhere, according to medical news website Stat.
Virus need a host to survive.
The flue passes from person to person in order to continue its existence, moving from the Southern hemisphere to the Northern hemisphere as the seasons change. Stat reported since zero cases from one subtype of influenza A and one lineage of influenza B have been reported since March 2020.
It doesn't necessarily mean these strains are gone simply because they haven't been reported, but researchers say it's a good sign.
It could make your yearly flu vaccine more effective. Each year, medical scientists have to figure out which strains will spread and make a vaccine using through an educated guess. Now, with fewer types of flu to pick from, there is a greater chance that educated guess is right.