From Greenwich to Rhode Island, there have been no diagnosed cases of the flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in the Yale New Haven Health System this season. Typically, at this time of year, there are hundreds of cases across the six hospitals in the health system.
“As of last week, we still had zero flu cases,” said Dr. Tom Balcezak, the chief medical officer at Yale-New Haven Health. “It’s one bright spot, particularly for children who are hard hit by flu and RSV each year. Due to the precautions we’ve taken for COVID-19, there will be many fewer deaths of children who otherwise would have died from the flu and RSV this year.”
According to Dr. Rick Martinello, medical director of infection prevention at Yale-New Haven Health, it is “the most remarkable change,” to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic and the physical distancing and mask wearing enforced by the state.
“Across the system, we have not made a laboratory diagnosis of either RSV or influenza yet this cold/flu season despite testing patients thousands of times for these viruses,” he said.
The same cannot be said of other communicable diseases such as sexually transmitted diseases.
The frequency of Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Syphilis are actually all slightly elevated from 2019 to 2020 in the Yale-New Haven Health system.