Flu numbers at ‘historic’ lows this season due to COVID-19 measures

KKTV 11 News this Morning
Published: Jan. 21, 2021 at 10:11 AM MST
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - UCHealth officials say the number of flu cases this season are at a historic low due to COVID-19 measures.

In the entire state of Colorado, there have been only 18 flu hospitalizations so far. UCHealth said usually there are tens of thousands of positive cases at this point, but so far the CDC has received about 925 cases in the country.

“We just don’t see this. It’s an oddball, certainly to go along with 2020,” said Dr. Ian Tullberg, medical director for UCHealth Urgent Care Clinics.

UCHealth said all of the COVID-19 measures helped keep the flu numbers down this season, including mask-wearing, staying indoors and even schools shutting down in-person learning.

“If COVID didn’t exist this year, we would have probably had the exact same flu season we’ve had prior years. Just with what we’re doing to keep ourselves safer, that’s really looking like it’s contributing to this incredibly low flu season,” said Tullberg.

UCHealth said this year is about average when it comes to the number of people getting flu shots. Health officials expect next flu season cases will go back up again though.

“You can’t really say, ‘Well the flu is down so things are wonderful. Unfortunately, we have a more deadly replacement for that,’” said Tullberg.

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