HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The Alabama Department of Public Health reports that influenza is now at one of its lowest points in the state in recent memory.
According to the CDC, the southeastern region of the U.S. usually reports some of the highest death rates from the flu, especially in kids.
However, in north Alabama, influenza-like illnesses make up only around one and a half percent of outpatient clinic visits, compared to nearly 10 percent last year.
State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris welcomed the news of lower reported rates in a COVID-19 Q & A session Friday.
“(It’s) terrific,” Harris said. “I think a lot of what we call non-pharmaceutical interventions for COVID – wearing a mask and staying away from people and limiting gatherings in washing your hands – that also helps with flu as well. So that’s just a serendipitous benefit.”
ADPH doesn’t report how many people might have gotten the flu but simply didn’t go to the doctor, leaving some undiagnosed, but experts across the country say COVID-19 precautions have worked regardless because flu strains are slightly less easy to contract.