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Flu Viruses Might Have Disappeared

There is less flu transmission during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the New report, some types of Flu Viruses may have gone extinct. During the COVID-19 pandemic, flu cases dropped to historic lows, a phenomenon experts attribute to mask-wearing and other precautions to combat the novel coronavirus.

STAT reported that two types of Flu Viruses haven’t shown up on anyone’s radar for a year, meaning there have been no reported cases of these viruses anywhere in the world. Experts aren’t aware whether this virus became extinct.According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are two families of Flu Viruses that cause seasonal flu: influenza A and influenza B. Influenza A viruses are divided into subtypes based on two proteins on their surface known as hemagglutinin (H) and neuraminidase (N). H1N1 and H3N2 circulate in people, and each of these subtypes is further broken down into clades.

Influenza B viruses, on the other hand, don’t have subtypes or clades but are divided into two lineages known as B/Yamagata and B/Victoria.One clade of H3N2, known as 3c3.A, hasn’t been detected since March 2020. The same is true of the lineage B/Yamagata.

Trevor Bedford, a computational biologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, told STAT, referring to the H3N2 clade, that they think it has a decent chance that it’s gone. But the world’s a big place. H3N2 viruses are a particularly diverse group, and before the COVID-19 pandemic, their clades seemed to be getting more genetically diverse each year.Less diversity among Flu Viruses would be a good thing.

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