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Flu numbers see sharp decrease in 2020-21 season

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UnityPoint flu  numbers
These are past flu seasons compared to the present season. Courtest of UnityPoint Health-Saint Lukes
SDH flu numbers
Flu numbers for 2020-21 season provided by Siouxland District Health.

SIOUX CITY (KTIV) -- As the world focuses on the COVID-19 virus, other viruses are still present, like the flu. However, so far, the flu doesn't appear to be a threat during its peak season this year.

UnityPoint Health - St. Luke's, MercyOne Siouxland Medical Center and Siouxland District Health say the flu is almost non-existent in the area right now.

Administrators at both hospitals say they haven’t had any in-patients with the flu this season.

The numbers provided by Siouxland District Health show the last flu cases were reported at the end of August.

Kristen Beal, an Infection Preventionist at UnityPoint, says it's unusual, but there's an explanation behind it.

“We’ve always encouraged good cough etiquette in the past. And with wearing our masks, that’s containing all the respiratory droplets that all these respiratory viruses spread by…good hand hygiene and keeping kids home when they’re sick, and disinfecting high touch surfaces," said Beal.

Beal hopes people wear masks during flu season, once the pandemic is over, to help keep the numbers low. Medical professionals remind everyone that it's never too late to get the flu shot.

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Claire Bradshaw

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