CDC: Less than 1,000 flu cases reported nationwide this season

As COVID-19 continues to rip through the country, flu cases in the United States remain unusually low.

Each year, about 45 million flu cases and around 61,000 flu-related deaths are reported in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  But so far this flu season, less than 1,000 flu cases have been reported nationwide.

Doctors say there are a few reasons, like aggressive health measures taken for COVID-19, and a lack of reporting.

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"I think that fear factor is keeping people away from the hospital. There are people who probably have the flu and don’t want to find out that it is not the flu, so they stay home," said Mark Multach, the Chief Medical Officer at Mercy Hospital.

He added that "the people who are not as sick -- what we call the fours and the fives, have disappeared. They are not coming here, they are going into either urgent care centers or the doctor's offices or more commonly they are just not coming in anywhere."

Multach also said other things, like working from home, virtual classrooms, and less traveling are also reasons for fewer cases.

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"If you look at countries that have been doing this for a while, you look at Asia, China and Japan -- they have been taking these kinds of precautions for more than a decade and it is just part of their culture now. Will we see some of that? I think we will see some," Multach added

Despite the low number of cases, doctors are still encouraging people to keep wearing their masks and get the flu shot this year.

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