PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — You have not heard much about the flu this winter because case numbers are down.
KDKA’s Paul Martino learned that coronavirus has a lot to do with that.
Health experts say all the things we are doing to prevent coronavirus are preventing us from getting the flu, too.
“Even before the pandemic hit, we talk every year about staying away from people, wash your hands, sanitize. This year with the masks included, we’re seeing a lot less spread of flu,” said Dr. Brian Lamb of Allegheny Health Network.
The numbers from the Allegheny Health Department say it all.
As of this month, the county has confirmed 69 cases of the flu, resulting in two hospitalizations and no deaths. Last year in January, there were more than 6,000 cases of the flu. It sent 41 people to the hospital, and there were three deaths.
“We’ve had a lot of people get their flu shots this year,” Dr. Lamb said. “This year really had a lot of people coming out, talking to doctors and getting their flu shots. That is helping as well.”
And with flu patients not flooding doctors’ offices, it gives health care workers more time to care for other patients.
“It’s given us time to screen patients for COVID,” Lamb said. “A lot of times, we’ll screen for flu as well, but it’s given everyone a little breathing space so that we can really help other people.”