The global coronavirus pandemic has seen a spike in the number of people dying around the world, but New Zealand is bucking that trend with a dramatic and unexpected drop.
Our lockdowns, border closures, stricter hygiene and social distancing are also credited with a big drop in winter bugs.
The number of Kiwis with the flu fell by 99 per cent.
“The measures we've used to control Covid-19 are also very effective at stopping other serious respiratory infections,” epidemiologist Michael Baker told 1 NEWS.
A look at the weekly data shows fewer people have died this winter.
In June and July, it dropped by as much as 13 per cent on last year.
“Our death rate should be around five per cent less this year, so that's saving around 1500 lives of people who haven't died this year who normally would have,” Baker said.
New Zealand’s elderly have benefitted the most, the group being most susceptible to dying from the flu.
In contrast, US media has reported 300,000 excess deaths so far this year when compared to a typical year.