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Flu, measles, mumps and rubella an infection numbers plummet in UK

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Microscopic view of the measles virus, paramyxoviridae from the Morbillivirus household. /Getty Pictures

Microscopic view of the measles virus, paramyxoviridae from the Morbillivirus household. /Getty Pictures

 

Outbreaks of flu, measles, mumps and rubella have been nearly non-existent within the UK for the reason that outbreak of COVID-19, a batch of scientific information has confirmed.

Out of 685,243 samples examined by Public Well being England, not a single case of influenza was detected within the first seven weeks of 2021.

The imposition of social distancing, mixed with the prevalence of face coverings and handwashing, has been credited with blocking the standard routes of transmission for influenza. The discount in worldwide journey and an elevated uptake within the flu vaccine most likely additionally had a serious influence.

Vanessa Saliba, head of flu at Public Well being England, mentioned this season’s flu immunization program is on observe to be probably the most profitable ever.

 

 

The autumn in instances has led some specialists to recommend reconsidering the UK’s strategy to influenza. Christina Pagel, a professor of operational analysis at College School London, instructed The Impartial: “There’s been no flu season wherever on the planet this yr, together with the UK. 

“Folks say we reside with flu deaths yearly and sort of assumed they had been unavoidable. But clearly they are not. If we needed to, we have proven we will scale back flu deaths to just about zero.”

Though there’ll clearly be little public urge for food to impose lockdowns to forestall flu, the figures might add weight to options that the general public put on masks subsequent winter to scale back new outbreaks of COVID-19.

 

In depth UK lockdowns have been partially credited with retaining charges of varied severe viruses low. /Oli Scarff/AFP

In depth UK lockdowns have been partially credited with retaining charges of varied severe viruses low. /Oli Scarff/AFP

 

In a separate examine published by Public Health England on Tuesday, it was revealed there have been no laboratory-confirmed measles instances within the UK within the ultimate quarter of 2020. With the final laboratory confirmed case reported in March 2020, measles infections fell 900 % final yr – from 798 in 2019 to only 79.

“This sharp decline displays the numerous influence the COVID-19 pandemic and associated public well being management measures have had on the unfold and detection of different infections together with measles,” mentioned the report. 

It added {that a} downward pattern in measles notifications has been noticed the world over.

 

 

There have been additionally no laboratory confirmed instances of rubella reported within the UK final yr, whereas mumps instances fell from 5,042 in 2019 to three,216. Simply 5 laboratory-confirmed mumps infections had been registered within the UK between October and December.

Public Well being England says the closure of universities and faculties for a lot of the previous 12 months has performed a job in interrupting transmission of measles, mumps and rubella.

The examine did report one destructive consequence – that the variety of youngsters scheduled for his or her first dose of MMR vaccine at 12 months of age fell. Public Well being England mentioned it was engaged on a restoration plan to vaccinate youngsters who missed out on their jab, to forestall outbreaks occurring as social distancing measures ease.



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