DENVER (CBS4) – As the coronavirus pandemic drags on, there is some promising health news out there when it comes to the flu. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment states that there are fewer cases than usual during this time of year.
“So far it has been very mild. We have seen very few cases of flu, if any, very few hospitalizations. I don’t even know if we’ve been hospitalized for flu, ”said Michelle Barron, senior medical director, infection prevention at UCHealth.
She says it was noticeably different from previous years.
“Not seeing anything yet is unusual, but I’ll take it,” she laughed.
There have been 12 hospital admissions for the flu so far this year, according to the CDPHE’s latest flu report. By this time last year that number had risen to over 300. Out of more than 3,000 flu tests done this week, only two came back positive.
Marty O’Bryan, an emergency doctor at the Swedish medical center, says they are seeing similar numbers.
“They have all been negative so far, but that will change,” he said.
Peak flu season is still a few months away, but even then, Barron said, continued COVID-19 precautions like masks and social distancing are likely to slow the spread.
“Plus, people work from home, when you’re in an office there are cookies and candy and all that stuff people get their hands on,” she said.
Having fewer cases also means good news for health care workers doing their best to make way for COVID-19 cases.
“We may be nearing the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, but we won’t have to deal with the flu as well,” Barron said.
According to CDPHE, flu shots have increased nearly 20% this time of year compared to last year. However, given the flu season that lasts through April, there is still time to get one.