Experts brace for severe flu season

Health experts are bracing for a severe 2021-22 flu season, CNBC reported July 7.

"Since our COVID mitigation measures prevented influenza transmission last year, there are not a whole lot of people who were recently infected," Lauren Ancel Myers, PhD, an epidemiologist and director of the University of Texas at Austin's COVID-19 Modeling Consortium, told CNBC. "So we may be entering flu season with a higher level of susceptibility than usual, which could exacerbate the risks."

This flu season's severity may also depend on the virus' evolution and American's personal decisions about whether they get a flu shot or take additional precautions if the virus does start spreading widely, Dr. Ancel Meyers said. 

Lynnette Brammer, who oversees the CDC's Domestic Influenza Surveillance Team, said the agency is preparing for flu circulation to return to levels seen before the pandemic given that other respiratory virus levels that fell during the pandemic, such as the respiratory syncytial virus, are already showing unseasonable increases. 

"We anticipate that something similar may happen with flu, especially as community mitigation efforts continue to be relaxed," she told CNBC.

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