Pennsylvania health officials say recent flu season was one of mildest on record

By Natalie Kapustik | The Center Square contributor, June 7, 2021

(The Center Square) – The 2021 flu season which was the one of the mildest on record for Pennsylvania, state health officials revealed recently, mirroring a trend seen across the county as COVID-19 mitigation efforts also hampered the seasonal scourge.

As of May 22, the last day of the 2020-2021 flu season, there were 3,664 laboratory-confirmed flu cases and 21 flu-associated deaths in the state. This was a 95 percent decrease from the cumulative count of cases at the end of the 2019-20 flu season.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported lower than normal seasonal flu activity for the nation for this time of year. There was a sixfold increase in public testing for influenza A and B due being paired with testing for COVID-19.

“As we end the flu season this year with fewer than 4,000 cases, I want to emphasize that this is one of the mildest flu seasons on record for Pennsylvania,” acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam said in a statement. “The previous season was higher than usual with more than 130,900 cases of flu. That is a stark difference from where we ended in 2021. The low flu activity, in part, is a testament to effective COVID-19 mitigation efforts that also prevent the flu, since the two infectious diseases spread the same way. In addition, a record number of individuals got their flu vaccine this season.

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