Where did the flu go? | Prof Martin Neil
4 July 2023 | The ‘flu’ was reported to have largely vanished from the globe in 2020/21, only returning in 2021/22 and in some counties not until 2022/23. Currently there are two popular competing explanations for this. The first is that viral interference between SARS-CoV-2 and flu, where flu was outcompeted by SARS-CoV-2, lead to a collapse in flu rates. The second is that human interference caused reported flu rates to drop. Changes in flu testing, testing protocols and sequencing, and the partial demolition of national flu surveillance systems, may each have contributed to a reduction in reported flu rates, meaning that a form of observation bias may have hidden flu.
By drawing on publicly available data, this talk presents evidence on these sources of observation bias and claim that there appears to have been a concerted effort in the UK and USA to ‘hide’ the flu from public attention for the early period of the Covid ‘pandemic’.
Martin Neil is Full Professor of Statistics and Computer Science at Queen Mary University of London. He has published on Covid prevalence and fatality rate estimation, estimation of asymptomatic transmission, meta-analysis of ivermectin treatment studies, and assessing vaccine effectiveness and safety using mortality statistics.
Martin is a director of Agena (https://www.agena.ai), a company specialising in risk management for critical systems, and is also a member of HART. He writes at https://wherearethenumbers.substack.com/
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