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Low U.S. Flu Rates Seen as Pandemic Rages

MONDAY, Dec. 21, 2020 -- Higher flu vaccination rates are one reason why flu cases are way down in the United States, experts say.

Seasonal flu activity is lower than normal for this time of year, with 0.3 percent of specimens testing positive at clinical laboratories last week, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Many more people are getting flu shots to avoid the risk for getting both the flu and COVID-19. The CDC said more than 190.4 million flu vaccines have been distributed across the country this season -- the highest ever in one flu season -- and flu shots among adults rose 46 percent, from 31.1 million doses to 45.3 million as of Nov. 28.

Other factors contributing to the sharp fall in flu cases this season include pandemic-related use of face masks, social distancing, stay-at-home orders, school closures, and much less international travel.

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Posted: December 2020

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