Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science


Emergency Medicine


Dr. Thomas Colletti DHSc, PA-C, DFAAPA



Global communities were unprepared for the extraordinary healthcare challenges of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the etiologic virus of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Without an effective vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, health authorities relied upon non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPI) to mitigate the crisis. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the threat of a simultaneous influenza epidemic loomed. However, 2020-2021 was remarkable for the near absence of influenza worldwide. Some studies suggest that NPI contributed to the suppressed 2020-2021 flu season, while others attribute the minute levels to alternate reasons such as viral transmission, virus dynamics, virus competition, and vaccination. Given the endurance of the COVID-19 pandemic with multiple variants, planning for future seasons of cocirculating COVID-19 and influenza is essential. Along with NPI, this article investigates the alternate reasons for influenza control in 2020-2021 and considers how lessons from the past year can aid future pandemic preparedness.


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