A citizen-science project asking New Zealanders every Monday whether they had flu symptoms in the past week shows the impact of 2020’s COVID-19 lockdowns (bottom graph). Flu season failed to launch last winter, compared to previous years, with fewer people recording a cough, sore throat or fever. Government health data based on calls to Healthline paints a similar picture (top graph). Spikes in reported symptoms coincide with COVID-19 lockdowns, but overall, New Zealanders were less sick in 2020 than in previous years.
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