Flu cases remain low, but see slight increase due to less health protocols

After a historically mild flu season, common colds and other viruses are now popping up in parts of the country, including in Arizona. Doctors are attributing this to an ease in the health protocols people followed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While numbers for these viruses are still low, there's an uptick in cases compared to numbers that are usual for the summertime.

"Typically you don’t see common cold this time of year or RSV this time of year," said Dr. Frank LoVecchio from Valleywise Health.

In other parts of the country, illnesses are increasing and doctors say it could be an indication of what to expect this flu season.

"Some places in the country are seeing a little uptick in the common cold and RSV, some places are saying the reason is because we have loosened social distancing," LoVecchio said.

There were record lows of flu cases due to the pandemic and doctors say it was due to social distancing, people staying home while they are sick and wearing masks.

"If you compare what happened about two years ago to now, a drop in cases is about 80% so it’s pretty remarkable," LoVecchio said.

Doctors are hoping that since people know more about infectious diseases it will help keep the flu from spreading as easily.

"I think people, in general, are going to be more aware of staying home if they are sick and social distancing, wearing masks, washing their hands more frequently," Lovecchio said.

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