GREEN BAY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Brown County

Cases of influenza few and far between this flu season in Wisconsin

Local News

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – When it comes to influenza, the late winter months are usually considered peak season. But as Kris Schuller reports in this pandemic, the flu has basically disappeared.

“For Bellin, we don’t have any cases of influenza at this point,” said Infection Prevention Nurse Lori Notz from Bellin Health.

During a year when the coronavirus sent so many people to seek care in a hospital, believe it or not, there is good news. Our current flu season is just a whimper of what it’s been in the past.

“We have had zero cases, last year at this time we had 51 hospitalizations at Bellin,” said Notz.

According to the Wisconsin DHS, in the 2019-2020 flu season, there were 36,000 cases of the flu in Wisconsin, and over 4,400 involved hospitalizations. Notz says this year there has been just a handful.

“For the state there have been 12 influenza associated hospitalizations for this flu season,” Notz said.

The next question is why? And some medical experts suspect it’s because of the preventative measures taken to avoid the coronavirus.

“It’s remarkable how little flu there’s been – it’s really almost none,” said Dr. Paul Calkins from IU Health.

Ever since the pandemic started, health departments have preached precaution and people listened

“Maybe it took a pandemic for us to think about infection prevention,” said Dr. Robin Ledyard with Community Health.

“We’re lower this year because we are social distancing, people are staying at home, they are masking, they are cleaning more. They are doing the best that they can and it’s proven that what we’re doing is working to decrease the flu,” Notz said.

A fact that’s helped an overworked health care system stay focused on fighting Covid-19.

DHS reports that since October 1, 2020 there have been 55 positive cases of influenza in Wisconsin.

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