Whatever Happened To This Year’s Flu Season in Mesa County
The silver lining behind the dark cloud of the coronavirus pandemic is the way it has impacted the flu season this year.
Mesa County Public Health says there has been minimal influenza activity so far this season. Unbelievably, there have been zero hospitalizations in the county due to the flu.
How Does This Season Compare to Recent Years?
Zero hospitalizations related to the flu this season is remarkable when you look at recent numbers in Mesa County. Over the past four years, the number of flu-related hospitalizations has averaged about 163 per season. The lowest number of hospitalizations was 77 in the 2019-2020 season, with the highest being 232 in the 2017-2018 season.
Across the state, there have only been 24 flu-related hospitalizations compared to more than 3,500 a year ago.
Maybe They Just Haven't Been Testing For the Flu?
It would be a logical assumption to think maybe flu tests have not been administered because of the focus on COVID-19, however, that is not the case. There have been more than 2,000 flu tests administered this year in Mesa County with only two positive results. There have been 1,957 flu shots given this year, compared to 2,110 last year.
There Is A Logical Reason For the Drop In Deaths and Hospitalizations
Health professionals believe the reduced number of flu hospitalizations this season can be attributed to two main factors - social distancing and sanitizing measures. They did not mention mask-wearing, but it appears the things we have been doing to slow the spread of COVID-19 have also helped to reduce the spread of influenza.
There may be a lesson to be learned here for future flu seasons. Perhaps social distancing will become the norm during the flu season, and, with any luck, hopefully, the general public has realized it's a bad idea to be in public when you're sick.
LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions
While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.