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The Impact of Pandemics on the Incidence of Seasonal Influenza: CoVID-19 Compared to 2009 Swine-Origin Influenza

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Molly Orlick
Rejoy Sabin Thomas

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Tampa

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Steven Specter

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The CoVID-19 pandemic led to the implementation of rigorous health measures. Actions that aim to minimize SARS-CoV-2 transmission may help prevent seasonal influenza transmission. Influenza cases were hypothesized to be lower than previous seasons among the James A. Haley Veterans' (JAHVA) Hospital population from fiscal years 2017-2021. A decrease in seasonal influenza cases was hypothesized during the 2009 swine-origin influenza pandemic. Influenza vaccination rates decreased by 43% in 2021, Influenza diagnoses, positive tests, and medication prescriptions declined by >94% compared to the JAHVA 2020 influenza season. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed a decrease in seasonal influenza in 2010 and 2021. Declining trends of seasonal influenza after 2009 are similar to trends during the CoVID-19 pandemic. The reduced prevalence of seasonal influenza during the pandemics indicates the benefits of public health interventions in decreasing respiratory viral transmission, specifically mask-wearing, increased hand-washing, and self-isolation during an illness.

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The Impact of Pandemics on the Incidence of Seasonal Influenza: CoVID-19 Compared to 2009 Swine-Origin Influenza

The CoVID-19 pandemic led to the implementation of rigorous health measures. Actions that aim to minimize SARS-CoV-2 transmission may help prevent seasonal influenza transmission. Influenza cases were hypothesized to be lower than previous seasons among the James A. Haley Veterans' (JAHVA) Hospital population from fiscal years 2017-2021. A decrease in seasonal influenza cases was hypothesized during the 2009 swine-origin influenza pandemic. Influenza vaccination rates decreased by 43% in 2021, Influenza diagnoses, positive tests, and medication prescriptions declined by >94% compared to the JAHVA 2020 influenza season. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed a decrease in seasonal influenza in 2010 and 2021. Declining trends of seasonal influenza after 2009 are similar to trends during the CoVID-19 pandemic. The reduced prevalence of seasonal influenza during the pandemics indicates the benefits of public health interventions in decreasing respiratory viral transmission, specifically mask-wearing, increased hand-washing, and self-isolation during an illness.