Flu numbers lower than ever before due to COVID precautions
JONESBORO,AR- COVID-19 number may be on the rise daily, but it’s the complete opposite with the flu.
Face mask, social distancing, are all key reasons on how the flu numbers are low this year but it’s not a reason to stop taking all these precautions.
“Why is that it’s because of the precaution we’re all taking for COVID. We’re wearing our masks, we’re keeping our distance, we’re washing our hands, we’re doing things in our workplace, in our homes, in our schools, to prevent transmission of COVID, but they also work even better to prevent transmission of influenza,” Physician specialist and outbreak response, Dr. Joel Tumlison said.
Arkansas has seen one of the calmest flu seasons ever.
Several family providers at NEA Baptist say they have seen very low numbers of flu patients this year.
In the past years, there were hundreds of flu related deaths in Arkansas, but this season there have only been 12 so far.
“Getting toward the end of the flu season, the numbers were still very high when COVID hit and everything was still in mid-March, everything was shut down and the numbers of COVID, they were kind of going like this, then all of a sudden they kind of went like that,” Tumlison said.
Symptoms for covid and the flu have things in common, but getting the help from your doctor, to find out for sure is the best option.
Health experts say the increase of mask wearing and other safety precautions have led to the lower flu infections.
Physician specialist and outbreak response Dr. Joel Tumlison says more education from the health department in the future to recommend people wearing mask more would be a great way to keep flu numbers down.
“Wear a mask, keep your distance, avoid big social gathers, large groups of people, where you cant space out keep doing those things. We are seeing it even more effective for influenza and that’s been fortunate because the hospitals already have enough hard time as it is, if we had a major influenza season it would have been way worse,” Tumlison said.
Health officials still encourage people to get a flu vaccine if you haven’t already.