With more than 28 million coronavirus cases confirmed in the United States, with 520,000 deaths during the coronavirus pandemic, the flu season was virtually non-existent this year.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only 0.1 percent of samples tested nationwide return positive for influenza. This is in stark contrast to about 20 to 30 percent of the positive cases reported in recent flu seasons.
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CDC too reports that only one child in the United States died from the flu this season, compared to 1
There has also been a significant drop in flu deaths among adults in the United States, with about 450 deaths so far this year. Approximately 22 000 people died during the 2019-2020 flu season.
Public health experts say school closures, telecommuting and precautions such as hand washing, camouflage and social exclusion caused by the COVID-19 pandemic are likely to have led to a very small number of flu cases, deaths and hospitalizations.
In December, the CDC announced that a record number of flu vaccinations had been given after public health officials called on the public to get the flu and warned of “twindemia” in both influenza and COVID-19 stress hospitals.
“I think it made it clear that masking, distancing, hand washing – all of these things obviously work,” said Aaron Millstone, an epidemiologist and professor of pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University. The Washington Post. “So I think the question will be how much appetite do people have for all this flu prevention, instead of just COVID.”
However, health officials have warned that the next flu season could be unusually worse, as this year people are not exposed to the flu and others will be susceptible to infection.
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