Where’s the flu?

By Debra Moore

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What many suspected would happen has come to pass: All of the precautions taken to prevent the spread of coronavirus have resulted in very little flu.

“We have a few cases, but nothing like we have seen in the past,” said Tina Venable, Plumas County Public Health’s director of nursing. She estimated that thus far there have been 20 reported cases of flu and zero hospitalizations.

This mirrors data released by the Centers for Disease Control. Yesterday, Feb. 17, there were 150 hospitalizations due to the flu reported compared to 400,000 one year ago.

Also, the CDC reports that one child has died in the U.S. from the flu, whereas at this time last year 92 children in the U.S. had died.

“Masking, social distancing and hand washing are helping reduce the spread,” Venable said. Another contributing factor is the number of people who opted to receive a flu vaccine this year.

While flu season doesn’t end for a couple of months, the statistics are impressive thus far. The CDC reports minimal flu activity across all 50 states — its lowest level of ranking.

Influenza viruses circulate year-round, but flu activity usually peaks between December and February, though it can last as late as May.

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