GREENVILLE, S.C. (WCBD) – There has been a significant drop in flu cases and deaths this season – likely due to COVID-19 healthy and safety precautions.
Last season, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control reported more than 4,000 cases of the flu. But so far this year, health leaders say there have been 77 cases.
Health experts say COVID-19 precautions are helping to lower those numbers and say people are reacting differently to illness.
“Maybe (previously) you yourself went into work, you said ‘oh, it’s just a tickle in my throat. I don’t want to take that extra day off work. I’m just going to go ahead and do this.’ Or, you don’t feel well, and you say ‘well, I need to go to the grocery store, why don’t I just do that.’ I think a lot of that behavior has stopped or at least curbed,” said Surbhi Gaur, Chief Medical Officer, Bon Secours St. Francis in Greenville.
Experts say people will likely continue following lessons learned during the pandemic. They believe we may not return to prior flu numbers for a couple of years.