Resurgence of influenza during COVID-19 in Chongqing, China: A retrospective analysis

J Med Virol. 2023 Nov;95(11):e29249. doi: 10.1002/jmv.29249.


To better understand the trends of influenza and the impact of public health and social measures (PHSMs) implemented during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) period in Chongqing, China. Data from the China Influenza Surveillance Information System from January 2017 to June 2022 were extracted. Epidemiological characteristics (influenza-like illness [ILI] and ILI%) and virological characteristics (influenza positive rate and circulating (sub)types) of influenza were described and compared between the pre-COVID-19 period and the COVID-19 period. Our survey showed that the implementation of PHSMs during the COVID-19 period had a positive impact on reducing influenza transmission. However, influenza activity resurged in 2021-2022 as the PHSMs were eased. Children under 5 years old constituted the highest proportion of ILI cases. The overall influenza positive rate was 23.70%, with a higher rate observed during the pre-COVID-19 period (31.55%) compared to the COVID-19 period (13.68%). Influenza virus subtypes co-circulated and the predominant subtype varied each year, with influenza A subtypes predominated in 2018/2019, while influenza B/Victoria lineage dominated in 2020/2021. PHSMs are effective measures to mitigate the spread of influenza. The findings underscore the need for bolstering monitoring systems, advocating influenza vaccination, and implementing practical PHSMs to strengthen prevention and control measures against influenza.

Keywords: COVID-19; Virological; epidemiological; influenza; public health and social measures (PHSMs).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • China / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Influenza, Human*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Seasons