While COVID-19 surges, seasonal flu cases are way down this year

Local News
flu season 2

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — As hospitals in New York and around the country cope with more COVID-19 patients than at anytime during the pandemic, one bright spot is that so far we are experiencing a mild flu season.

When you look at the number of flu cases on the New York State Health Department’s flu tracker you can see things are looking pretty good for the 2020-21 flu season compared to the 2019-20 season.

The CDC says the first week of flu season is about the first week in October, which is week 40 on the graph. The most recent week reporting, ending January 2 is week 53—there was no week 53 in the last flu season.

One reason for the mild flu season, more people received the flu vaccine. The CDC says 189.4 million doses of the vaccine have so far been distributed, compared with 174 million in the 2019-20 flu season.

Onondaga County Health Commissioner Dr. Indu Gupta was asked about the flu at Thursday’s COVID-19 update. Dr. Gupta says the precautions taken for the Coronavirus and the changes to the workplace and school have gone a long way to stop the spread of flu.

Public health officials had feared that a second wave of COVID-19 in the fall and winter months combined with high number of flu cases cloud have been disastrous. But so far, physicians offices and hospitals have had very few flu cases this season.


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