Flu activity extremely low for the 2021 season

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Published: Jan. 10, 2021 at 2:17 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 10, 2021 at 2:22 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - In positive health news, flu and other major viruses are down. Doctors say it’s one of the positive effects of the pandemic.

“Personally, I’ve not seen a single flu this year,” Doctor Ryan Stanton said. “I’ve not seen a single flu, RSV, norovirus, human metapneumovirus, or any of the common players that we see this time of year.”

The CDC listed Kentucky as “very high” for flu activity in the first week of January 2020. Exactly one year later, the commonwealth is “minimal.”

“Basically from what the CDC is saying, we’ve cut the flu volume this year by greater than 80%,” Stanton explained.

Dr. Stanton says COVID precautions like hand washing, social distancing, and sanitizing have been major contributors.

“I don’t think anybody wants to repeat what we’ve done in 2020, but at the same time, doing common sense steps can significantly decrease the impact of these viruses every year will be huge,” he said.

Dr. Stanton also says flu vaccinations are up this year. By eliminating one virus, he says it’s easier for doctors to tackle this major challenge of COVID-19

“We were very concerned that with a significant flu, RSV season, it will be difficult to tell the difference between these without significant testing. So far we’ve actually been very fortunate because COVID really is the only major virus floating around right now that has any significant impact to our communities.”

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