Tags: Coronavirus | Vaccines | Cold/Flu | flu | season | cdc

CDC: US Flu Numbers Drop by a Whopping 98 Percent

CDC: US Flu Numbers Drop by a Whopping 98 Percent
(Dreamstime)

By    |   Monday, 04 January 2021 06:34 PM

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that the flu numbers in the U.S. have plummeted 98%. Experts say that the reasons for the dramatic decline include fewer people traveling, more people wearing masks and social distancing, along with more Americans getting the flu shot, according to NBC News.

More adults have gotten the flu shot from pharmacies in 2020 compared to last year, says Healthline, and as of November of this year, 188 million doses of the flu vaccine had been distributed across the country, according to a new weekly flu vaccination dashboard provided by the CDC.

But although flu activity is currently low, experts warn we could still see an uptick in cases in 2021.

“Even though it’s smoldering out there, it could take off at any time,” said Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, according to Healthline.

Precautionary efforts such as wearing masks and social distancing to contain COVID-19 may have played a role in keeping the flu numbers down.

“It is possible that the mitigation measures for SARS-CoV- 2 will help curb the flu and other respiratory diseases as well, since these viruses are transmitted in similar ways,” said Dr. Ellen F. Foxman, a clinical pathologist at Yale University.

According to CDC data there has been one pediatric death of a child from influenza who had underlying medical issues. Schaffner says that, typically, kids spread the flu.

“They’re the real engine,” he said. “They spread it among themselves, and then they bring it home and give it to parents and relatives.” Experts say that the safety measures in schools such as staggered arrival hours and virtual learning have also helped quell the flu.

According to The Seattle Times, as the flu season collides with COVID-19, getting the flu vaccine is more important than ever.

“I’m worried about the whole kit and caboodle and how confusing it might be,” said Dr. John Lynch, a board-certified physician and medical director of Harborview’s Infection Control at the University of Washington Medicine. “That’s why getting a flu shot this year is more important than ever—not only to keep you and your family and the community safe from flu, but also to keep people with these other COVID-like illnesses out of doctor’s offices and emergency departments.”

Schaffner said that it is the H1N1 flu virus that is dominant this year and it is scattered across the country. And experts warn that there is still time for the flu to become virulent.

“It’s not too late to get vaccinated,” Schaffner said, according to Healthline. “If you have not been vaccinated against the flu, please go ahead and do that. That’s the safest thing to do.”

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Headline
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that the flu numbers in the U.S. have plummeted 98%. Experts say that the reasons for the dramatic decline include fewer people traveling, more people wearing masks and social distancing...
flu, season, cdc
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2021-34-04
Monday, 04 January 2021 06:34 PM
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