With the focus on COVID-19 and the daily updates surrounding the case count for the coronavirus, many have forgotten about the decades-old flu, also known as the influenza virus. Surprisingly enough, the flu has nearly vanished this flu season, with reports of flu cases the lowest in decades. February saw one of the lowest case counts of flu cases ever, even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that February has historically been the peak of almost all prior flu seasons.
Medical experts believe that measures put in place to fend off the coronavirus may have also fended off the flu virus. Mask wearing, social distancing, working from home, and virtual schooling have all helped prevent the spread of both COVID-19 and the flu. Flu cases have also been at record low levels globally, including in China, Europe, South Africa, and Australia.
The CDC estimates that of the 190 million flu vaccines distributed this season, the infection rates are so low that it makes it very difficult to determine which flu strains are actually circulating and infecting people. Data for the 2020-2021 flu season haven’t been compiled yet by the CDC due to the lack of flu-related cases.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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