NORTHERN VIRGINIA (WDVM) — For the past year, COVID-19 numbers have been reported on daily, but the flu seems to have been forgotten about. During February of last year, flu infection rates in Virginia were at their highest level, and this year they’re nonexistent. The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) said COVID mitigation strategies have slowed the spread of the flu, but why not COVID?
“So the fact that we aren’t seeing flu while we’re seeing COVID is due to the fact that COVID was circulating well before we were able to put the measures in place as much as we need to and just that it’s a little more transmissible from person to person,” said Em Stephens, respiratory disease coordinator for VDH.
VDH rates the flu in five different levels of activity. Since October, they’ve reported no flu activity in Virginia.
“We are seeing very little flu activity this season and we would normally expect to see significantly more activity around this time of year…We’ve been at no activity for almost the entirety of the 2020-2021 season so far,” expressed Stephens.
Staying at home, wearing masks and washing hands has kept flu numbers significantly lower compared to years past.
“We do expect that a lot of it is because the precaution measures put in place to prevent the spread of COVID have been successful in preventing flu as well,” stated Stephens.
Although this information might seem like we’re in the clear, VDH said the flu season will continue throughout the summer, with a new season beginning in the fall.