COVID-19 Practices May Keep Flu Season Mild
With all the talk and restrictions of COVID-19, influenza has not been on the mind of many people in the Northern Hemisphere. Good news coming out of the Southern Hemisphere is that people in the United States and other countries in the Northern Hemisphere may not have to think about it much come fall either, Becker’s Hospital Review reports.
U.S. health experts often analyze the Southern Hemisphere’s flu season, which runs from April to September, to determine how bad the upcoming season will be. Many U.S. hospitals are already bracing to treat both COVID-19 and flu patients this fall and winter.
However, many countries in the Southern Hemisphere are reporting fewer cases of the flu and other respiratory illnesses that are not COVID-19. For example, Chile has reported 1,134 cases of seasonal respiratory illnesses this year, compared to 20,949 for the same period last year.
Health experts believe the decline in flu cases may be an indirect benefit of practices to control the spread of COVID-19, such as social distancing and wearing masks.