A Tauranga doctor says influenza is scarce in the community, with health experts agreeing Covid-19 pandemic is the main factor.
Before Covid-19, more than 200,000 Kiwis caught influenza - the flu - each year and an estimated 500 would die from it. That's more than the annual road toll.
However, a Rotorua doctor says the virus might never have the same hold on the community after the pandemic.
Influenza rates never got up to full-steam last year after New Zealand entered a nationwide lockdown in March.
Fifth Avenue Family Practice general practitioner Dr Luke Bradford said Tauranga flu numbers were still incredibly low.
"We are definitely not seeing much influenza at present.
"[It's] not getting through managed isolation and quarantine because [people] are just going through with the flu at MIQ and then it's never got out."
An analysis published in November found flu rates were down 99.9 per cent on the four years before, a phenomenon directly linked to the Covid-19 lockdown.
The flu is a virus that spreads quickly from person to person, with symptoms including fever, chills, aches, runny nose, a cough and upset stomach.
Immunisation is the best defence against the flu, the Ministry of Health says.
People are at greater risk of the flu if they are aged over 65, are pregnant or they have a health condition such as diabetes or heart disease.
The flu virus infects people's noses, throats, and lungs and is normally worse than a cold.
Rotorua general practitioner Dr Cate Mills, from Three Lakes Clinic, said it could be debilitating: "It's like being hit by a bus, is how some people describe it."
Mills doesn't see the flu having the same impact as it once had, with our awareness of vulnerability around a pandemic strengthening our hand.
"All the precautions that we're taking for Covid-19, equally work for the influenza virus.
"The hand hygiene, the social distancing, and not going out when we're sick [means] we're not transmitting it as well. It's great."
Much like Tauranga, the Rotorua area's flu rates were virtually non-existent, Mills said. However, rates were often low at this time of year anyway.
Bradford said: "Any strain that is here is the same strain as last year, as opposed to one that has been introduced from the Northern Hemisphere."
Immunisation Advisory Centre director Dr Nikki Turner said the main reason flu rates were so low in 2020 was because lockdown occurred at the start of flu season.
"There was also a high uptake of the flu vaccine and a heightened awareness of the importance of hand washing, social distancing and staying at home when sick."
Anyone who thinks they might have the flu should call their GP instead of trying to see them in person, for a phone consultation in the first instance.
Turner said there was unlikely to be much flu coming into New Zealand from overseas this year, thanks to ongoing border controls.
She said the flu should never be taken for granted and people needed to continue supporting flu vaccination and continuing preventative measures against the spread of the virus.