October 3, 2020

FUNNY HOW THAT WORKS:

The Southern Hemisphere skipped flu season this year, likely because of social distancing (CNN, 10/01/20)

To measure the potential impact of the coronavirus on flu infections, the CDC evaluated flu activity recorded by the World Health Organization in three "robust sentinel sites" in the Southern Hemisphere -- Australia, Chile and South Africa -- between June and August, typically an active period for flu activity in the hemisphere.

All three sites showed "very low" flu activity, the CDC reported. In Australia, among the 60,031 people tested for the flu, only 33 test results were positive. In Chile, 12 out of 21,178 tests were positive for flu, and in South Africa, only 6 out of almost 2,100 people had the flu.

That's a total of 51 people who tested positive for flu among 83,307 tested, or a 0.06% positivity rate. Previous flu tests from April to June in 2017 through 2019 showed about over 13% flu positivity rate overall in those same countries, the CDC said.

The findings suggest that methods like social distancing, wearing masks and closing schools reduced the number of flu infections in the Southern Hemisphere -- and could do the same in the Northern Hemisphere.

Posted by at October 3, 2020 6:09 PM

  

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