More people following health guidelines lead to decrease in flu cases


Columbus (WMCH) – States across the nation are seeing a decrease in flu numbers, including Ohio. One local doctor says there are several reasons why they’re down, but one main reason, people are being more vigilant about practicing basic health guidelines.

Dr. Mark Herbert with Mt. Carmel says as of now, the United States has a total 16 hundred flu cases. For Mt. Carmel, this is the normal amount of numbers they would see weekly inside their hospital.

“What this tells us is that the public health measures that we’re using to prevent COVID are really effective in preventing influenza,” said Dr. Herbert.

Before the pandemic, Mt. Carmel saw more than 1 thousand 7 hundred flu cases. In the beginning of the pandemic, they saw more than 2 thousand cases. As of now, Dr. Herbert says they’re not seeing flu cases.

“In our laboratory we have seen 18 cases this year; that is compared to almost 16 hundred cases last season,” he said.

According to Columbus Public Health records, Influenza numbers have stayed in the hundreds since 2015–but not this year.

“At the end of the day, I’m shocked to see these numbers overall,” he said.

The hope is that the numbers stay down, but Dr. Herbert says he’s already seeing less visits to the doctor.

“Because they didn’t want to go to the doctor or healthcare was busy or providers were busy giving other healthcare rather than influenza vaccine.”

For now, he asks people to continue handwashing, wearing masks, and social distancing.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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