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Local doctors call this season's flu cases "non consequential"

February is usually the peak month for Influenza cases, though this year numbers are at a surprising low.

Posted: Feb 12, 2021 6:58 PM
Updated: Feb 15, 2021 9:39 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) As Covid-19 continues to dominate the headlines, cases of influenza have taken a sharp decline. 

Dr. Davin Turner with Mosaic Life Care called the virus "non consequential" this season as numbers are at a surprising low. 

Early fears of a potential twindemic this winter seem to have been for naught, leaving healthcare officials breathing a sigh of relief.

"I’m grateful that our flu cases have been low," Connie Werner, clinic supervisor, St. Joseph Health Department said. "the flu symptoms and the Covid symptoms are so similar that to have both of them attack at the same time would be a great pressure to our healthcare system."

There’s some debate over what exactly is causing the sharp decline in flu cases, but there is agreement that social distancing is having an impact.

Health officials said these precautions are universal to all airborne viruses.

"The steps that we’re taking aren’t specific to Covid, that’s just protecting you against airborne diseases."

Werner said this side benefit of nearly stopping influenza in its tracks this year is proof that Covid-19 safety precautions are effective to some degree, she said she wanted people to keep this in mind during and after the pandemic. 

"If we could really take to heart that we can keep ourselves healthy, I would like to see us learn and carry those tools forward in the future and have lower case numbers for flu season when Covid isn’t our primary concern."

February is usually the peak month for flu cases. 

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Thunderstorms moved through the area today, and another round of storms will begin to develop into the evening. These storms have the chance to be strong to severe. The main threats will remain as strong winds and heavy rain, however hail and an isolated tornado can not be ruled out. Storm chances will continue on Friday into Saturday as a front rolls through. Temperatures will be back in the 80s for the weekend into next week with several more scattered rain and thunderstorm chances.
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