Influenza virus activity in Israel decreases earlier than usual

The Health Ministry announced there has been an early decrease of influenza activity in Israel, probably due to the coronavirus morbidity situation.

A doctor prepares a syringe as part of the start of the seasonal influenza vaccination campaign in Nice, France October 24, 2018. (photo credit: REUTERS/ERIC GAILLARD)
A doctor prepares a syringe as part of the start of the seasonal influenza vaccination campaign in Nice, France October 24, 2018.
(photo credit: REUTERS/ERIC GAILLARD)

There has been a decline in the activity of the Influenza virus in Israel, the Health Ministry announced on Wednesday.

"The decline is reflected in the number of new hospitalizations added in the last week and a decrease in influenza-like morbidity in the community," the ministry stated. 

Between 2021 and last week, a total of 4,143 confirmed influenza patients were reported, including 1,036 children and adolescents under the age of 18 years and 253 pregnant women.

Most patients were infected with Influenza A, which was identified in the Central Laboratory for Viruses as a subtype A/H3 flu, which is included in the flu vaccine given in Israel this season.

This is an early decrease in comparison to previous seasons, probably due to the coronavirus morbidity situation, which dictates social distancing maintained by the public, absence from schools and workplaces and wearing masks.

Health Ministry D-G Nachman Ash receiving a flu vaccine on October 17, 2021 (credit: HEALTH MINISTRY)Health Ministry D-G Nachman Ash receiving a flu vaccine on October 17, 2021 (credit: HEALTH MINISTRY)

New COVID-19 cases reached a record of 72,129 on Tuesday. The previous highest number, registered on Monday, was 66,652. 

While both COVID-19 and flu vaccines are available, Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel is aiming to launch a single booster vaccination that will protect against both Covid-19 and flu within two years, the Guardian reported. 

Bancel says the "goal is to be able to have a single annual booster so that we don’t have compliance issues where people don’t want to get two to three shots a winter.”