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WHO expert warns of risk of flu outbreak in Australia after COVID-19

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People queue at the flu clinic at Austin Hospital, Melbourne, Australia. Documentary photo: AFP/VNA

Speaking to SBS TV channel, Mr. Barr said that the flu epidemic will return in 2022 and the only problem is the severity of this epidemic season, which he says is difficult to assess at the moment. However, he thinks the severity of the 2022 flu season will not be as severe as in 2017 or 2019, but only low to moderate.

Mr Barr issued the warning as many experts suggested that the natural immunity of Australians to seasonal flu may have been reduced during the COVID-19 epidemic.

Australia’s national flu vaccination program is expected to be launched on April 4. Authorities in this country have urged people to get vaccinated to protect the country’s health system, prevent the risk of having to cope with two diseases at the same time.

In 2021, Australia has 598 flu infections – the lowest level ever and no deaths, thanks to travel restrictions and border closures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In 2019, the country had 313,033 flu infections, including 953 deaths.

Regarding the COVID-19 epidemic, on March 27, Australia recorded more than 40,000 new cases and 11 deaths across the country.

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