Skip to Content

COVID Precautions Lead To Below Average Flu Season

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
COVID Precautions Lead To Below Average Flu Season

Cases of the flu have significantly dropped so far this winter, and COVID precautions seem to be the reason why.

That is according to Cookeville Physician Dr. James Batson. Batson said the United States is following the same trend that the southern hemisphere experienced.

“During their winter, our summer, their flu season was the same,” Batson said. “It was very very mild. A lot of it because of the social distancing, the masking, the lack of travel, because flu hadn’t hit yet that stuff was already in place. So, I think it was better able to reduce it.”

Batson said another suspected reason for low flu numbers is a decline in doctor visits in general. Batson said this contributes to fewer confirmed mild flu cases.

“I think people are just not coming in as often for sick visits,” Batson said. “A lot of people want to avoid the ER and urgent cares and things like that just doctor offices in general. For milder things, they are not coming in as much as they used to in the past. Especially when school is in session, we are still seeing the usual numbers of strep and routine type of things.”

The drop in flu was expected with comparisons to other parts of the world, but the season is not over. Batson said the possibility of an influenza outbreak during the COVID pandemic could still happen.

“If flu decides to hit and hit hard in late February or March, then you have a potential double whammy,” Batson said. “In my opinion, it is not a matter of if. It is a matter of when the medical system gets overwhelmed, but that is the worse case scenario.”

Batson said since the flu is a respiratory virus, COVID precautions also act as flu precautions. White County’s Cumberland Family Care has also seen the same trend, according to Dr. Ty Webb during a White County School Board meeting in January.


The post COVID Precautions Lead To Below Average Flu Season appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.