Upcoming flu season 2022
Surging Australian flu cases point to winter demand for natural solutions in Europe and the US
Europe and the US are bracing for a severe influenza season in light of surging flu cases in the southern hemisphere. After two seasons in which social distancing restricted the spread of influenza, the virus is resurgent and driving renewed interest in natural ingredients for preventing and treating the illness.
The different timings of influenza seasons in the southern and northern hemisphere means data from Australia provides a window into the situation Europe and the US are likely to face later in the year. Early signs from Australia suggest the northern hemisphere should get ready for an unusually large number of cases in what will likely be the first influenza season without social distancing and travel restrictions since 2019-20.
In May, typically the first month of the Australian flu season, the country had 65,770 confirmed influenza cases.1 The figure is more than double the previous record number of flu cases for May, which was set in 2019, and contributed to the total case count for this influenza season hitting 87,989 by June 5. Australia broke the prior record after cases accelerated throughout May, with 47,860 notifications of flu coming in the two weeks up to June 5.
The number of weekly notifications, which typically peaks in August, is already around the record level, leading the Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Yvette D'Ath to warn that the data trend shows Australia may surpass the peaks experienced in the 2017 and 2019 flu seasons and reach those numbers “much earlier in this season.”2
Australian authorities are encouraging the public to get vaccinated against the flu to reduce the burden on hospitals. By early June, Australia had seen 733 people admitted to sentinel hospital sites because of influenza. Six percent of those people were admitted directly to the intensive care unit. The hospitals are contending with rising flu cases on top of the workload created by COVID-19.
As authorities in Europe and the US monitor the situation, food supplement manufacturers can also use the situation in Australia to guide their planning for the upcoming northern hemisphere flu season. If, as looks likely based on the data, there is a severe flu season, many consumers will seek out natural ways to enhance their immunity to prevent or treat the illness.
ElderCraft® can meet consumer demand for natural, clinically validated solutions. The ingredient, which IPRONA extracts from Austrian berries without using artificial solvents, reduced the total duration and severity of upper respiratory symptoms in a clinical trial of 312 people.
1. Australian Associated Press. Australia’s monthly flu cases more than doubled previous record in May. The Guardian.
2. High uptake for free flu jab. The State of Queensland https://statements.qld.gov.au/statements/95266 (2022).
If you want to learn more about ElderCraft®, don’t hesitate to contact us.