COVID, RSV and the flu: A case of viral interference?

COVID, RSV and the flu: A case of viral interference?

Enlarge (credit score: Aurich Lawson / Getty)

Three years into the pandemic, COVID-19 remains to be going sturdy, inflicting wave after wave as case numbers soar, subside, then ascend once more. However this previous autumn noticed one thing new—or relatively, one thing outdated: the return of the flu. Plus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)—a virus that makes few headlines in regular years—ignited in its personal surge, making a “tripledemic.”

The surges in these outdated foes had been significantly putting as a result of flu and RSV all however disappeared in the course of the first two winters of the pandemic. Much more stunning, one explicit model of the flu could have gone extinct in the course of the early COVID pandemic. The World Well being Group’s surveillance program has not definitively detected the B/Yamagata flu pressure since March 2020. “I don’t suppose anybody goes to stay their neck out and say it’s gone simply but,” says Richard Webby, a virologist at St. Jude Kids’s Analysis Hospital in Memphis. However, he provides, “we hope it obtained squeezed out.” Such an extinction could be a brilliant uncommon occasion, Webby says.

However then, the previous few years have been extremely uncommon occasions for human-virus relations, and lockdowns and masks went a good distance towards stopping flu and RSV from infiltrating human nostrils. Nonetheless, Webby thinks one other issue could have stored them at bay whereas COVID raged. It’s referred to as viral interference, and it merely signifies that the presence of 1 virus can block one other.

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