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Seasonal Flu Numbers Reach Historical Lows

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Social distancing practices are not only making a difference in slowing the spread of coronavirus. The seasonal influenza flu numbers are seeing hitting historical lows this season.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention experts say nationally, the percentage of visits for influenza is staying near one percent. In previous years, this number is near seven or eight percent.

Both the flu and COVID-19 are upper respiratory diseases. The same precautions that are being taken for coronavirus are helping slow the spread of the flu too. This includes important social distancing practices,

“Because everyone is staying home more, we are wearing masks, and we are trying to stay six feet apart from people,” Courtney Beardsley, Pharmacist at JR Pharmacy, said. “That is helping tremendously with flu transmission. Maybe we will learn something from this and reduce our flu numbers going into the future too."

Although flu numbers are low now, there is still a chance we could see a surge in March.

“You definitely want to get vaccinated against it because we do see a surge in March, most years,” Beardsley said. “Whether we will this year or not, I do not know yet, but that is prime time for the flu to hit.”

If you do get the flu, the most important thing is to stay hydrated and take it easy. It's not too late to get a flu shot. You can visit your local pharmacy for more information.