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Ohio flu cases are low, but concerns of a 'twin-demic' remain

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Posted at 6:56 AM, Dec 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-11 06:56:29-05

CLEVELAND — We're now 10 weeks into the flu season and only 27 Ohioans have gotten the virus, according to the Ohio Department of Health. This year’s numbers are down 84% compared this time last year.

In Cuyahoga County, there haven’t been any flu-related hospitalizations and less than 4% of emergency room visits were linked to the flu.

Doctors say in countries within the southern hemisphere, flu cases were low during its winter months this year, which has helped keep ours down too.

But we aren't off the hook yet.

“There's an added benefit of masking that where there's good and compliance in countries ahead of us in the flu cycle,” Dr. Keith Armitage, Medical Director of University Hospital’s Roe Green Center for Travel Medicine and Global Health.

Richard Stacklin, a data analyst for the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, says state orders urging remote lifestyles has also helped.

“People staying home from work, working home more, as well as schools that are opting to do hybrid or fully online instruction, is probably also part of the reason,” he said. “My hope is that people that you know here will get their vaccine remain socially distant, especially coming up in the holiday season.”

While concerns of flu cases spiking remain, the possibility of a “twin-demic” still looms over us as we continue battling Covid-19.

“During a really busy flu season, which usually lasts about six to eight weeks in a given region—we can see the health care system strained. So if you combine the effects of a busy flu season and the effects of a busy COVID season, we really could strain the health care system,” Dr. Armitage said.