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Flu cases are lower than usual

Health officials say that could attribute to COVID-19 guidelines that are in place.
Published: Feb. 18, 2021 at 9:56 PM CST
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - With COVID-19 guidelines being in place for almost a year it has helped combat more than one virus.

December and February are peak months for the Flu season. The CDC reports the number of cases this season are lower than usual.

“We’ve all been walking around with masks on, practicing social distancing and washing our hands and those are general guidelines to prevent the spread of any disease and that includes flu,” Dr. George Narby, Chief Medical Officer at Southeast Health, said.

COVID-19 and Influenza may have similar symptoms, but COVID is far more contagious.

Dr. Narby said the flu generally starts in the Southern Hemisphere and then spreads around the globe in sort of a seasonal fashion.

“International travel has been greatly reduced and I think the global spread of flu has been bunted and slowed just by the fact because of COVID, we are not traveling around the world the way that we usually do,” Dr. Narby said.

The CDC reports 160 laboratory-confirmed flu hospitalizations so far this season. That puts the cumulative flu hepatization rate at 0.6 percent per 100,000 population.

The Alabama Department of Public Health reports that the Northeastern and Southeastern regions of the state are the only regions with confirmed Influenza cases in the last three weeks.

The flu season usually begins to decline after February, but can stick around as late as May.

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