Why Has The Flu Season Been So Mild This Year?

Sheldon, Iowa — If it seems like this year’s influenza season has been mild, you’re not just imagining it — at least according to a provider at Sanford Sheldon.

Emergency Room provider Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner Nicholas Vust tells us he has seen minimal influenza A or B or even RSV cases in the Emergency Room this year, and the normal influenza season is drawing to a close at this time.

As you might imagine, Vust says the probable reason for that is that the measures that we take to prevent the spread of COVID-19 also are the same measures that prevent influenza.

(as said) “It’s because we are doing the right thing and wearing our face masks when we’re supposed to be, staying home and we’re sick, practicing good social distancing, and some good hand hygiene. I think the COVID pandemic has led us to have another very mild flu season for those reasons, you know, we are practicing their correct safety measures that we need to practice when we’re sick.”

We asked Vust what he thought about the rumor that flu cases are being misreported as COVID cases for nefarious purposes.


(as said) “When we swab for any form of respiratory illness, so we have something we call the quad stat test. It tests for influenza A and B, COVID, and RSV. It’s run by the same machine, but it tells us all three — which one’s positive or which one’s negative. So we really can’t be hiding influenza cases… as far as in our facility at Sanford. We can’t hide influenza cases because it’s all run on one machine and then tells us if you have influenza versus COVID or RSV so it gives us all three.”

He says the conspiracy would be pretty hard to prove, especially at Sanford.

Vust tells us that if people continue to be careful and take precautions, it’s possible we’ll see milder flu seasons in the future. When it comes to COVID, there are quite a bit fewer cases in the E.R. at this time, says Vust, and he thinks things are continuing down the path to normalcy, especially in Iowa. With the vaccine being administered and another type of vaccine being released recently, while he says he doesn’t think things will ever be like they were before, a fairly normal life appears to be on the horizon.

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