Flu cases way down in final week of 2020 vs. final week of 2019

A comparison of flu case data from the Tennessee Department of Health covering the final weeks of 2020 and 2019 show a drastic decline in the number of flu cases in the state so far this flu season.

Following up on a report you may have heard this morning on our simulcast of the WBIR Morning News, WYSH conducted its own side-by-side comparison of the final week of 2019 (Week 52, December 22nd through 28th) and the final week of 2020 (December 27th, 2020 through January 2nd, 2021).

That comparison shows that in the final week of 2019, 41 of Tennessee’s 95 counties had reported at least one case of influenza, with a total of 4948 positive flu cases recorded by the Department of Health. For that same week of 2020, zero new tests came back positive for the flu, and cases were reported in only two counties over the previous six weeks, and the total case count during that the final week of 2020 fell to a mere 620.

If there is an upside to the COVID-19 pandemic, it might be that many of the precautions that have been undertaken to prevent the spread of the coronavirus appear to have also mitigated the spread of the flu, at least so far this flu season. Those measures include recommendations to wear masks, practice proper and thorough hygiene, maintain social distance, and to stay home and avoid crowds whenever possible. Of course, if you feel sick, public health and elected officials remind you to stay home and get tested if necessary.

We have included the TDH’s summaries of the weeks in question on our website.

(2020 Week 53 cases—Dec. 27-Jan. 3)

(2019 Week 52 cases—Dec. 22-28)

As far as the pandemic itself is concerned, the TDH, in its daily update on Wednesday, said that 137 new deaths blamed on the virus had been reported in the state. That figure includes three in Anderson County, one each in Campbell and Morgan counties, and five in Roane. As of Wednesday’s update, 24 people have died in the first 13 days of January after contracting COVID-19 in Anderson County, while another 20 have perished in Roane County this month alone. Wednesday’s update brings the death toll in Anderson County to 96, with Campbell reporting 40, Morgan County 13 fatalities and Roane County is now up to 76 deaths.

The state releases statewide and county-level information each day and it can be found at www.covid19tn.gov, and at https://www.tn.gov/health/cedep/ncov.html.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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