Low Virus Rates


COVID_19 and the flu may be easily confused but influenza cases are down because of COVID-19 precautions.

Lily Finkbeiner, Staff

While the world is focused on COVID-19, influenza cases reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) from the Northern and Southern Hemispheres have significantly dropped.
People suspect that COVID testing has become more frequent reducing the number of individuals being tested for influenza. However, this is not the reason for less recorded cases around the world.
Epidemiologists believe the reason for this is that individuals have been taking measures to stop the spread of COVID. These measures include wearing a mask and social distancing. All of these have an effect on the spread of influenza, and stopping viruses.
Measures like these aid in preventing the spread of both COVID-19 and influenza. It is believed that with these precautions both the flu and COVID are not effective at jumping from person to person. However, researchers are still looking into more details.
Greg Poland, who has studied the disease at the Mayo Clinic said, “There’s just no flu circulating.” This can be credited to the measures put into effect against COVID.
Before COVID, influenza caused about 22,000 deaths in the U.S. During the 2020-2021 flu season there were approximately 700 deaths caused by the flu. With fewer cases scientists don’t have a lot of data to study in order to make the new vaccine. But, with less circulation the virus is less likely to mutate.
Health experts are hoping that masks, social distancing, and hand washing continue in the future. Not only do they believe it’s hygienic, it’s might also help prevent future outbreaks and keep low numbers of current viruses.