Health experts say current health guidelines, like wearing masks, could be one reason for the decline in cases.
The number of flu cases is lower than usual in the U.S. for this time of year according to the CDC, and the same goes for Texas.
According to the World Health Organization, the efforts made to contain COVID-19 hve likely played a role in reducing transmission of the flu.
Dr. John Myers, a family medicine physician at Baylor Scott and White Hillcrest agrees.
“What’s different is we’re all being much more protective with the isolation and with the masking and also the cleanliness like washing hands. So that’s the most obvious reason for why there’s no flu this year,” Dr. Myers said.
According to the Texas Department of State Health Services since the beginning of the flu season in October 2020 to date, there have about 600 positive cases of the flu. Whereas this time last year there were already 27,000 positive cases.
Although flu numbers are low right now, Dr. Myers said there’s a possibility that it could spike later in the spring.
“We do still recommend the flu vaccine. We’re focused on Covid but we don’t want anybody to get the flu either. The flu does kill people every year as well, so we need to be safe and get all the vaccines that we can,” Dr. Myers said.
There are a lot of similarities with COVID-19 and the flu because they’re both contagious respiratory illnesses. If you experience any symptoms, it’s best to self-isolate and get tested as soon as possible.
Health experts recommend to continue following safe practices as well as getting the flu vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccine when more become available.
CDC: Similarities and Differences between Flu and COVID-19
CDC Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report
Texas Department of State Health Services 2020-2021 Texas Influenza Surveillance Activity