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.

Today’s Top Stories

Dave & Dujanovic

Rioters at the US Capitol...
Curt Gresseth

Utah bill would limit police access to your cellphone data

A spokesman for a a libertarian think tank in Utah discusses why he supports a bill at the Legislature limiting law enforcement access to the cellphone of a person near a crime scene.
7 days ago
rollercoaster lagoon...
Curt Gresseth

Lagoon spokesman explains big price hike for day pass

Lagoon announces Primordial, a new one-of-a-kind interactive rollercoaster, coming in 2023, but with the new ride comes higher season passes.
10 days ago
Police provided an update but added little new information about four University of Idaho students ...
Curt Gresseth

Police stay quiet after quadruple homicide in Idaho

A killer is on the loose, police in Moscow, Idaho, are tight-lipped and a community is on edge after four university students were found slain Saturday.
11 days ago
A Utah psychiatry expert joined KSL NewsRadio's Dave and Dujanovic to discuss how friends and famil...
Curt Gresseth

Setting boundaries on a friend or family member’s addiction

Instead of boundaries that look like giving in or cutting off the person with an addiction, one Utah expert suggests seeking middle ground.
11 days ago
Being involved with a bad financial advisor is no good for investors. A KSL investigative reporter ...
Curt Gresseth

Do you know how to spot a bad financial advisor?

Spotting a bad financial advisor is easier if you know which red flags to look for.
12 days ago
A member of the Utah Taxpayers Association weighs in on how Salt Lake County will spend an 85 milli...
Curt Gresseth

SLC voters OK $85 million parks and trails bond. Is it worth higher taxes?

The Utah Tax Payers Association offers insight into the parks and trails bond and breaks down what the money will fund.
13 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
Dave & Dujanovic: Flu numbers in Utah are way down