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Could early cases of Covid...

(5 Posts)
Beccatheboo Sat 20-Jun-20 14:39:19

...have been diagnosed as ‘influenza A unknown type’? Both are, I believe, RNA viruses.

assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/891589/National_influenza_report_11_June_2020_week_24.pdf The graph at the top shows a peak of influenza in the UK from weeks 48 (2019) to about week 5 (2020). Looking at the next document (a report about week 48) shows 19 care home outbreaks positive for influenza A ‘unknown subtype’ and 16 schools from an outbreak of 108 schools positive for influenza A ‘unknown subtype’. www.gov.uk/government/publications/weekly-national-flu-reports-2019-to-2020-season/national-flu-report-summary-5-december-2019-week-49

This next document shows over half of the hospitalised patients aged 15-44 suffering from influenza A ‘unknown type’ and over half of the hospitalised patients aged 65+ also suffering from the unknown type.
assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/851697/PHE_Influenza_Surveillance_graphs_2019_2020_week_50.pdf

I’m no clinician or statistician! Just interested how others more knowledgeable might interpret the information?

OP’s posts: |
lousleftkneelies Sat 20-Jun-20 14:43:28

Try the graphs and numbers thread OP some very knowledgeable posters on there

MedSchoolRat Sun 21-Jun-20 02:54:43

No, is the short answer.

Lots of viruses are RNA-based.
The tests are very sensitive. They don't confuse entirely different RNA viruses with each other.

The tests can get down to something like influenza type A not merely to the virus family influenza is in (orthomyxoviridae). Because influenza has a super unstable genome, you get very different strains. There is often incomplete immunity between the strains, hence need for new flu jab each year as the virus keeps mutating.

The virus that causes covid is in a different family (coronaviridae), and has a stable genome. Humans typically may have a weak response to coronaviruses so may not get very long term immunity to some of them. Truth is, we don't know how long immunity will last to covid, but possibly years and years for people who were ill enough to feel ill with it. Because feeling awful with it would be a strong immune response.

Virus taxonomy is very complicated, but Maybe the diagrams help.

I don't know why some folk say that 2019-20 was a bad flu season; it was a fairly mild flu season. Hospitals were not over-run with misdiagnosed patients. The weekly flu reports are online.

Stepoffthecarousel Sun 21-Jun-20 07:11:40

When children have the flu vaccine they shed flu virus for a day or two afterwards as the child version of the flu vaccine is a live vaccine. There is often a flu spike during vaccination time in those that aren't necessarily vaccinated e.g. TAs, teachers, parents, kids who didn't get the vaccine etc.

Beccatheboo Sun 21-Jun-20 18:56:03

Thanks MedSchoolRat!

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