BOZEMAN — Have you been diagnosed with the flu before as a Gallatin County resident? Chances are probably. But that was before the COVID-19 pandemic and a relatively quiet flu season.
“This year’s a little bit different because we haven’t had a lot of influenza. In fact, I talked to our city-county health department yesterday, and we have no cases of flu in Gallatin County currently nor have we had any that have been officially diagnosed,” explained Dr. Todd Harris, a Family Physician at b2 UrgentCare in Bozeman.
“COVID and Influenza, they’re contracted the same way through water droplets right. So, coughing sneezing, blowing your nose. So, when you’re wearing the face coverings obviously, we’re going to diminish that. Like I said, all upper respiratory infectious diseases are pretty much shared the same way, so when we control that, we’ll control all those same diseases,” Dr. Harris said.
And that’s not just here in Gallatin County, similar diagnoses are being seen around the country.
“In fact, I did a little research the other day because I was curious because my providers keep asking you know have you seen flu yet? The last week of December, there were I think 26,000 flu tests done in the country. 77 were positive. That’s a very small number," he explained.
That’s less than one percent.
“I think we’ve seen a huge improvement, and I’ll be curious to see what we do going forward just to see how well we’ve controlled influenza thus far,” said the Dr.
Dr. Harris is not saying there may have not been any flu cases this season. All he’s saying is there haven’t been any diagnosed cases yet.