DAVE & DUJANOVIC

Dave & Dujanovic: Flu numbers in Utah are way down

Feb 11, 2021, 5:19 PM | Updated: Feb 12, 2021, 12:14 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Thank the COVID-19 restrictions throughout the nation and Utah for keeping the flu case numbers low this year.

Turning to the Utah Department of Health website, Dave Noriega discovered there were 1,310 hospitalizations for the flu last season. He also found that there were only 14 hospitalizations this year due to influenza in Utah.

During the 2018-2019 season, there were 1,809 flu hospitalizations in Utah.

Dr. Todd Vento, infectious disease specialist at Intermountain Healthcare, joined Dave and Debbie Dujanovic Thursday to talk about why the flu cases are unusually low this season.

He said there were 14,000 hospitalizations for COVID infections in Utah alone during the last year of the pandemic.

Utah flu numbers

Vento noted flu case numbers are also down because people are traveling less due to COVID-19 restrictions and more people are being vaccinated for the flu.

“Many of us are doing masks, distancing, decreasing our gathering, and hand hygiene — a lot more focus on hand hygiene,” he said, noting those practices keep flu numbers low.

“Dr. Vento, give us an idea, does this hurt our long-term immune system or is this still great news?” Dave asked.

“If we were in the middle of the COVID pandemic with high rates of COVID hospitalizations, deaths and cases while we also had a lot of influenza cases, we’d be in serious trouble in our ICUs [intensive care units], and all of our hospitals right now would be much worse,” Vento said.

“Dr. Vento, I have seen my Facebook epidemiologist friends post about the fact that, ‘Well, perhaps doctors are confusing the flu with COVID.’ I don’t believe that to be the case. But maybe you can walk us through that,” Debbie said. “How do you know for sure it’s a case of COVID and maybe they don’t have both the flu and COVID or just the flu?” 

“Certainly, we have seen more symptoms of decreased taste and decrease smell with COVID than we do typically with flu,” Vento said. “The flu can be a lot more abrupt on an onset, so sometimes you can get a feel for that. But more importantly, we have algorithms, clinical testing and screening algorithms, for patients when they show up in primary care emergency departments to test for the flu and for COVID, so that we know what we’re dealing [with].”

He added that public health mitigation efforts, such as hand washing, social distancing and face masking, keep the flu — which is less transmissible than COVID-19 — from spreading.

 

Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, a.s well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.

Dave & Dujanovic

emergency kits are a vital part of preparedness for families...
Curt Gresseth

How families should prepare for an emergency at home or away

Do you have an emergency reunification plan ready for your loved ones? Two experts share tips on what to do when disaster strikes while at home or away.
4 months ago
Cherie Wood...
Curt Gresseth

South Salt Lake mayor defends new $130,000 salary

The mayor of South Salt Lake defended her latest salary of $130,000 by saying she hasn't received a pay raise in 11 years in office.
4 months ago
South Salt Lake at Southern X-posure, the site of a deadly shooting....
Curt Gresseth

South Salt Lake resident wants to stop mayor and City Council from awarding themselves raises

A South Salt Lake resident has taken his ballot initiative on pay raises for city leaders to the Utah Supreme Court after being rebuffed by the city attorney on what he said was a technicality.
4 months ago
Connerjack Oswalt was found in Park City, Utah after being missing from California years ago. (CNN)...
Curt Gresseth

Missing three years, autistic teen found in Park City

An autistic teen missing from northern California since 2019 was found by sheriff's deputies in Summit County, Utah. He has since been reunited with his stepfather.
4 months ago
Debbie busts inflation by buying consigned clothes....
Debbie Dujanovic

Dujanovic: Battling inflation like it’s 1981

Inflation has Debbie Dujanovic budgeting like it's 1981. She has tips on how to battle inflation and save your wallet some tears.
4 months ago
design...
Devin Oldroyd

Utah wants your help redesigning the state flag by April 30

MILLCREEK, Utah — Utah residents have until April 30 to submit their ideas for a redesign of the Utah state flag.  According to a press release from the Utah Department of Cultural and Community Engagement, Gov. Spencer J. Cox launched the “More than a Flag” effort in January. The effort is part of a statewide […]
4 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Prescription opioid...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
...

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
...

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
...

Tax Tuesday: Key Information Before the Filing Deadline

Businesses can receive a credit of up to $5,000 per employee in 2020 and up to $21,000 per employee in 2021.
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Dave & Dujanovic: Flu numbers in Utah are way down