KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WWMT) – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the nation is seeing record-low influenza cases this flu season.
Health experts said high flu vaccination rates combined with social distancing, mask-wearing and hand-washing employed to stop the spread of the coronavirus are playing a huge role in preventing influenza transmission.
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During the 2019 flu season, from Sept. 29, 2020, to Dec. 28, 2020, the CDC reported more than 65,000 influenza cases nationwide. During that same period this flu season, they reported just more than 1,000 cases.
Ascension Borgess Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. David Davenport said he’s seen only two cases of influenza at the hospital in January 2021. He said another factor contributing to the low number of flu cases is the high number of people who got a flu vaccine this season due to COVID-19 concerns.
The CDC said more than 192 million doses of the flu vaccine had been distributed, the highest number of doses distributed in the U.S. in a single flu season.
“People in public health are being extremely cautious because our ability to ramp up from where we are now is limited; and if by any stretch of the imagination we had a surge of influenza and coronavirus at the same time, it’s much more likely that health systems would be overwhelmed,” Davenport said.
The CDC recommends that the flu and COVID-19 vaccines are not given at the same time. Health leaders said there is a lack of data on getting the vaccines together and they recommend getting the shots at least two weeks apart.
Sources Cited: https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/cdc-reports-record-low-flu-cases-during-covid-19-pandemic/ar-BB1cZSqj?pfr=1