We could be in for a rather severe outbreak of influenza this winter, with the health authorities reporting more patients than usual as summer closes off.
Speaking to Times of Malta, spokespersons for the health ministry revealed that local and international influenza surveillance hint at the potential outbreak.
One of the factors contributing to the spike in influenza cases could be the fact that this will be the first winter since the COVID pandemic hit two years ago.
This means there will be no use of face masks, social distancing and other measures which prevented the spread of not just COVID-19 but other viruses.
The local government offers the influenza vaccine to everyone for free every year, with priority given to the elderly and the vulnerable. The next rollout will be announced soon, the authorities told the newsroom.
Before the COVID-19 outbreak, flu outbreaks saw a high number of hospitalisations during various years. 2018 saw Mater Dei reaching full capacity in mid-January due to the flu.