Experts Point Out Unusually Mild Seasonal Flu in U.S. Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

As COVID-19 continues to spread across the country, it has appeared as though the flu has seemingly disappeared. The usual flu season hasn't hit at all.


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With COVID-19 continuing to spread across the country at alarming and new variants reportedly being detected, researchers have noticed that the common flu seems to have taken a backseat to the pandemic.

“This is the lowest flu season we’ve had on record,” Lynnette Brammer of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said of the disappearance of the flu this season. According to AP News, experts are saying that there a few reasons why the flu hasn’t hit Americans as hard as it usually does around this time of year.

The first explanation that researchers are considering is the mask-wearing, high sanitation, and increased health precautions that everyone has to follow to stop the spread of COVID-19. Since these would also be ways the flu would spread, all of these preventative measures might have fended off what they are calling a “twindemic” if the flu did spread at the pace it usually does this year. 

The second explanation scientists are considering is that COVID-19 simply overpowered the common flu this winter season. They still aren’t fully sure how that works, but researchers have seen some strains of the flu overpower others in the past, so the same pattern might be in effect right now, with COVID-19 being the stronger virus. The flu is usually responsible for 50,000 to 60,000 deaths annually, whereas COVID-19 has already killed 500,000 people in the United States.

Meanwhile, a new variant of COVID-19 discovered in the New York City area also looks to be overpowering other strains.

“A concern is that [this variant] might be beginning to overtake other strains, just like the UK and South African variants,” Dr. David Ho, the director of the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Center at Columbia who led the research team, said Thursday. 

As the flu falls in the background of American's concern, COVID-19 is still a very present threat that we are just past a year into combatting.

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