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Doctors credit COVID-19 precautions for dramatic decrease in flu cases – WLWT Cincinnati

The messages to wear masks, social distance and wash our hands is preventing more than the spread of COVID-19.We are seeing a dramatic decrease in the number of flu cases this season.Local health officials said typically this time of year about 600 people would be hospitalized with the flu every week in Ohio.Instead, we’ve only seen 50 for the entire flu season.The flu numbers this season are staggering for all the right reasons. “This year we have seen a dramatic difference in what we are typically seeing. Normally we start to see many cases, but, for example, at UC Health we’ve had one,” said Dr. Carl Fichtenbaum, a UC Health professor of infectious diseases.Doctors said January is usually when flu season takes off following holiday travel.But not this year.Hospitalizations are flat.They credit the same safety measures in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. “If you block the transmission then you don’t have the cases,” said Hamilton Co. Public Health Medical Director Dr. Steve Feagins.If the flu is not spreading, why is COVID-19? “COVID, on the other hand, is much closer to measles. So we’re seeing really efficient transmission and that occurs both airborne and droplet transmission,” said Fichtenbaum.The mild flu season is a welcome relief for an already stressed healthcare system. Feagins said 30% of inpatients right now are COVID positive. “Our hospitals are pretty overrun and full all throughout the community. We don’t need another epidemic locally that will tip the scales and make it harder for us to care for people,” Fichtenbaum said.While the war against COVID-19 wages one, local health leaders said they’re thankful the flu is so far not compounding an already overwhelming pandemic. “My gosh. Boy, if we weren’t doing these things just imagine what we would be seeing,” Feagins said.While flu case numbers are way down, one number has grown exponentially.That’s the rate of people dying with a combination of pneumonia and flu.In Hamilton County, it’s typically around 1-2%, while this year it’s closer to 14%.Doctors said that is due to COVID-19-related pneumonia.

The messages to wear masks, social distance and wash our hands is preventing more than the spread of COVID-19.

We are seeing a dramatic decrease in the number of flu cases this season.

Local health officials said typically this time of year about 600 people would be hospitalized with the flu every week in Ohio.

Instead, we’ve only seen 50 for the entire flu season.

The flu numbers this season are staggering for all the right reasons.

“This year we have seen a dramatic difference in what we are typically seeing. Normally we start to see many cases, but, for example, at UC Health we’ve had one,” said Dr. Carl Fichtenbaum, a UC Health professor of infectious diseases.

Doctors said January is usually when flu season takes off following holiday travel.

But not this year.

Hospitalizations are flat.

They credit the same safety measures in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

“If you block the transmission then you don’t have the cases,” said Hamilton Co. Public Health Medical Director Dr. Steve Feagins.

If the flu is not spreading, why is COVID-19?

“COVID, on the other hand, is much closer to measles. So we’re seeing really efficient transmission and that occurs both airborne and droplet transmission,” said Fichtenbaum.

The mild flu season is a welcome relief for an already stressed healthcare system.

Feagins said 30% of inpatients right now are COVID positive.

“Our hospitals are pretty overrun and full all throughout the community. We don’t need another epidemic locally that will tip the scales and make it harder for us to care for people,” Fichtenbaum said.

While the war against COVID-19 wages one, local health leaders said they’re thankful the flu is so far not compounding an already overwhelming pandemic.

“My gosh. Boy, if we weren’t doing these things just imagine what we would be seeing,” Feagins said.

While flu case numbers are way down, one number has grown exponentially.

That’s the rate of people dying with a combination of pneumonia and flu.

In Hamilton County, it’s typically around 1-2%, while this year it’s closer to 14%.

Doctors said that is due to COVID-19-related pneumonia.

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