Metro doctors say flu was practically ‘non-existent’ this season in Georgia

ATLANTA — The 2020-21 flu season is turning out to be the quietest season since the CDC started keeping count.

Metro Atlanta doctors said it’s likely because of the extra precautions taken during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Channel 2′s Carol Sbarge looked at the numbers this season during a pandemic compared to the numbers last season in Georgia.

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The flu season typically starts in October and winds down around April or May.

“We’re seeing that the flu was almost non-existent this year,” said Dr. Barbara Joy Jones.

The Georgia Department of Public Health said there were 83 deaths in Georgia last flu season. Five months into this season, there has been zero.

By the end of March, just two people in Georgia had to be hospitalized for the flu. In the previous season, 2,365 people with the flu ended up in the hospital.


Jones said usually 60% of her patients get a flu shot. This year, she said 85% to 90% wanted it.

Her patient Jocqueline Hay-Kilgore said she gets the shot every year but found herself taking other extra precautions during COVID-19 pandemic.

“I was very health conscious as far as washing hands, anything hand to mouth. I was very quick to wash,” she said.

In addition to extra hygiene and flu shots, Jones said less international travel and wearing masks helped.

“Everyone was scared of COVID, so they weren’t going to let something like the flu get in the way. So a lot of people really dedicated themselves to hygiene and getting the flu vaccine,” she said.

The Georgia Department of Public Health posts weekly flu reports on its website here.

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