University of Wisconsin–Madison Medical College of Wisconsin

Lessons Learned From the COVID-19 Pandemic: Factors Affecting Decreased Incidence of Influenza

Hamza Mirza; Mansoor Mirza, MD

WMJ. 2023;122(1):56-59.

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Introduction: Our goal was to identify if the cases of influenza declined in the state of Wisconsin during the COVID-19 pandemic and, if so, what factors may have been responsible for this decline.

Methods: Influenza rates during the 2018-2019 and 2020-2021 seasons were compared using data from Respiratory Virus Surveillance Reports from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Results: The number of cases and hospitalizations due to influenza decreased significantly during the 2020-2021 influenza season compared to the 2018-2019 season, although mortality rates increased during 2020-2021.

Discussion: Reducing the burden of illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths due to influenza on the health care system is imperative. Taking the same preventive measures used during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as wearing masks, physical distancing, and frequent handwashing, should be advised, especially for the most vulnerable patient populations.

Author Affiliations: Biology Department, New Jersey City University, Jersey City, New Jersey (Mirza H); Advocate Aurora Health Care – West Allis Memorial Hospital, West Allis, WI;;
Corresponding Author: Mansoor Mirza, MD, Advocate Aurora Health Care – West Allis Memorial Hospital, 8901 W Lincoln Ave, West Allis, WI 53227; email; ORCID ID 0000-0002-5040-2353
Funding/Support: None declared.
Financial Disclosures: None declared.
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