The World Health Organization (WHO) declared a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic on 11 March 2020, as southern hemisphere countries prepared for their usual winter respiratory pathogen epidemics. The announcement prompted concern that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), influenza and other respiratory viruses might co-circulate, straining and possibly overwhelming healthcare systems. In Australia, these fears were not realised and—in contrast to expectations—influenza activity was at an all-time low during the southern hemisphere’s 2020 winter. Here, we describe the decreased activity of influenza and other respiratory pathogens in Australia and the measures that have likely contributed to their decline.

 

 

Eneas De Troya from Mexico City, México [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

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