St. Luke’s expert: 2021-22 flu season was "below normal"

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Going into the 2021-22 flu season, Dr. Andrew Thompson said he had no idea what to expect.

"Last year we had virtually no influenza in our country," Thompson, an infectious disease specialist at St. Luke’s, said. "We look at our trends every year and compare them year-to-year, and it was really a flat line last season."

He said they strongly encouraged an influenza vaccine for everyone because there were a lot of questions about how the season would go.

"Were we going to have a huge rebound with less distancing and masking? Was it going to be particularly bad? Was it going to be back to normal?" Thompson asked.

In the third week of April, as flu season neared an end, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed minimal flu activity in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Thompson said he’d call it a "below normal" season for flu.

"We had what is kind of a typical spike of cases around the end of December and into early January in Minnesota. That’s when we had the most hospitalizations from flu. And then things have trailed off," he said.

He said influenza is still circulating, though, and hasn’t disappeared as quickly as it normally does.

"It hasn’t gone down as it typically would, but it’s at a low level," Thompson said.

He expects we are at the end of flu concerns and likely won’t have to worry much until next fall.

To view Minnesota flu stats, click here.

To view Wisconsin flu stats, click here.

To view CDC flu stats, click here.