flu

Only 1 Reported Flu Case in Santa Clara County So Far This Season

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While COVID-19 numbers continue to skyrocket, one South Bay statistic pertaining to another virus is surprising experts in the best possible way.

So far this season, there has been only one reported case of the flu in Santa Clara County. Experts credit COVID-19 precautions for the drop.

The county's official flu numbers — logged after emergency room or doctor visits in which lab results come back positive — fluctuate every year, from the mid 40s to the mid 70s and sometimes as high as the mid 200s. But to date, the only flu case this season was recorded in October.

"Right now, there’s no reported flu cases in our county," Assistant Santa Clara County Public Health Officer Dr. Elsa Villarino said. "And we do surveillance. We look for those all the time."

Villarino said the precautions people are taking for the coronavirus might be the reason.

“Well, people are washing their hands, more masking, so that has the effect also," Chris Russell, who got the flu shot, said.

Doctors said the flu is not as contagious as the coronavirus, so the hygiene, social distancing and masking are making a difference.

Villarino said this season what people normally think of as flu symptoms, like muscle aches, cough and fever, are more likely to be something else.

"This could be COVID. It probably is COVID right now," Villarino said.

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