SARS-CoV-2 and influenza virus coinfections in the Tuscan population during the 2021/2022 influenza season


coinfection; population; respiratory viruses.


The 2021/2022 influenza season was not characterised by a well-defined incidence peak. As reported by the Italian National Institute of Health, a high value of incidence of influenza cases was recorded in week 13, but it was still lower than in other influenza seasons. This abnormal circulation was probably due to relaxation of the COVID-19 pandemic restriction measures, which greatly reduced the circulation of respiratory-transmitted viruses, including human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV). The symptoms of SARS-CoV-2 and influenza are quite similar, sharing the human-to-human transmission route via respiratory droplets. The aim of this study was to estimate the rate of coinfection with influenza viruses and/or HRSV in SARS-CoV-2-positive subjects (N=940) in a population of central Italy during the 2021/2022 season. A total of 54 cases of coinfection were detected during the study period, 51 cases (5.4%) of SARS-CoV-2 and influenza virus and three cases (0.3%) of SARS-CoV-2 and HRSV coinfection. These results highlight the importance of continuous monitoring of the circulation of influenza virus and other respiratory viruses in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.


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