According to experts, staying at home has weakened our immune systems so much that 60,000 deaths related to the seasonal flu are expected this year in the UK.
COVID-19 is to blame
Health experts are fearing that flu deaths could be the highest since 1968 when the Hong Kong flu was rampant in the UK. These concerns come amidst studies that have found that our immune systems have weakened as they have not been exposed to as many viruses due to our time in isolation.
Coupled with the fact that viruses such as the flu, RSV and COVID-19 are much more transmissible during the colder months of the year, death rates could be catastrophic all over the world. Deputy chief medical officer, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, said:
Not many people got flu last year because of Covid restrictions, so there isn’t as much natural immunity as usual. We will see flu circulate this winter; it might be higher than usual and that makes it a significant public health concern.
It is really important that people get their vaccines as soon as they can.
Vaccines are our best protection
The study in question, which was conducted by the Academy of Medical Sciences, found that about 60,000 lives could be lost compared to the yearly average of 11,000. Now, scientists are urging people to protect themselves as much as possible to prevent the expected death toll to surpass predictions. Caroline Abrahams, director of Age UK said:
This year it’s more important than ever to take up the offer of a flu jab and Covid-19 booster. Both illnesses are capable of taking a terrible toll on an older person but being vaccinated will help keep you, and those around you, safe and well through the winter months to come.