By Kandy Virology Laboratory team
Influenza virus is one of the most common respiratory viruses infecting humans worldwide and it is a winter virus in temperate and year-round circulation in the tropical countries. With an aim to reduce the circulation of SARS-CoV-2, non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs), such as compulsory face mask, social distancing and travel restrictions, were introduced in the Sri Lanka during a large part of 2020 and 2021. These preventive measures may influence the transmission of other respiratory viruses including Influenza.
In the early 2021 none of the influenza viruses were detected among the patients with respiratory tract symptoms, except a single influenza A in the last part of June in central part of the Sri Lanka. However, there is a sudden peak in the pattern of influenza was observed during the past few weeks. A total of 14 influenza viruses (13 Influenza A and an Influenza B ) were detected from the hospitals in Central Province (NHK, DGH Matale, DGH Nawalapitiya, DBH Dambulla, DBH Theldeniya and SBSCH), with the predominance in adults.
The COVID preventive measures are relaxed little by little and people are engaged in their routine life. This could have increased the chance of Flu. In addition, now we are in flu session based on our past experience. So, It is the time to get alerted for the flu to make appropriate management / treatment plans…!!!