Infectious disease specialist says flu cases are down as people take more safety precautions due to COVID

Local News

This time last year, more than 1,000 North Dakotans had influenza, but this year, cases are way down.

According to the North Dakota Department of Health, there have only been 107 reported cases so far this season.

A Sanford Health infectious disease specialist says there are a few things this could be attributed to.

Dr. Noe Mateo says with more people taking safety precautions because of COVID, fewer germs are being spread.

Another reason, he says, is because more people got the flu vaccine earlier this year, but he also says they still have until April until the official flu season ends.

“There’s nothing about influenza that’s entirely predictable year over year. We could just be looking at delayed start. You know, we could be seeing an upswing in the number of influenza cases mid-January. And essentially what that means is people sort of drop their guard over the holiday season,” said Dr. Mateo.

Dr. Mateo says so far this season, he’s seen only a handful of influenza cases at Sanford Health.

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