With COVID-19 still the biggest issue facing the country, doctors and health experts warned about an impending "twindemic," where the coronavirus and flu season clash simultaneously. However, in rare 2020 good news, flu numbers are down compared to past years.
Austin-Travis County Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott called flu numbers "remarkably lower" compared to past seasons, likely due to COVID-19 precautions, in a press conference on Tuesday.
So far, Austin has only seen 33 reported cases of the flu, a 1.45% positivity rate over the past week and an overall positivity rate of 1.04%, the lowest of the past three years.
Escott cited protective COVID-19 actions for the low numbers.
"Those protective actions that we utilize for COVID-19 will also help to keep this curve flat for the duration of flu season," Escott said Tuesday.
However, Escott said that he expects to see flu season reach a peak in December, January and February.
With National Influenza Vaccination Week in full swing, between Dec. 6-12, Escott recommends those that have yet to be vaccinated do so.
The City of Austin clarified on its website that the city does not capture every case of the flu, as reporting it is voluntary.
Austin Public Health recommends getting a flu vaccine yearly, especially those at high-risk of contracting the illness. You can locate places to get vaccinated through VaccineFinder.
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