It is possible that the flu season will start earlier and be more severe this autumn, according to Katja Kotkavaara, Communicable Disease Control Physician at the Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).
During the first two years of the coronavirus pandemic, many people developed habits of avoiding contact with others, washing their hands and using generous amounts of hand sanitizer.
While those steps helped to prevent coronavirus infections, at the same time they also kept some waves of influenza and the common cold at bay, or at least weakened them, according to Kotkavaara, who noted that the next flu wave may come earlier than usual.
Flu epidemics usually start in December or January, but now experts think the next flu wave could begin as early as this autumn.
The health agency has not yet set a date for the rollout of flu vaccinations in Finland.
At the same time, coronavirus cases in Finland continue to rise, although it is difficult to say with certainty how many, due to most people's self-diagnoses with home testing kits.
Experts anticipate that new coronavirus cases will begin to increase during the late summer, as kids head back to school and adults increasingly return to work and other activities.