Influenza Evades Detection in 2021
The World Health Organization (WHO) published Influenza Update N° 385 as of January 15, 2021, which stated 'despite continued or even increased testing for influenza in some (82) countries, influenza activity remained at lower levels than expected for this time of the year.'
Of the 200,863 respiratory specimens tested at WHO-affiliated labs, only 409 were found positive for influenza. Of those specimens, about 70% were influenza B.
In the countries of North America, influenza activity indicators, including the percent of tests positive for influenza and influenza-like illness activity, were at very low levels. There were no influenza detections in this WHO reporting period in tropical South America.
In summary, the WHO says, 'The current influenza surveillance data should be interpreted with caution as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has influenced to varying extents health-seeking behaviors. The various hygiene and physical distancing measures implemented by Member States to reduce SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus transmission have likely played a role in reducing influenza virus transmission.'