CDC: Fight against COVID may help in fight against flu

According to a new report, the threat of the flu season may be lowered this year because of the efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

“If we continue doing the right thing for COVID, we may not see flu this season,” Dr. Carlos del Rio, an Emory Infectious Disease Specialist, said.

With increased mask-wearing, social distancing, and handwashing, we are protecting ourselves from COVID-19 and the flu. In fact, countries in the southern hemisphere are already seeing some positive trends.

“Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina almost saw no flu this past winter because they were doing the things for COVID,” said Dr. del Rio.

A new CDC study found a reduction in flu cases at the beginning of the pandemic, some of which can be attributed to the waning flu season. But, researchers noted the summer circulation of the flu is currently at historic lows.

However, Dr. del Rio says this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get your flu shot. He still urges the public to stay proactive in the fight against the flu.

“The one thing we don’t need is the duel epidemics of flu plus COVID happening at the same time.”

The CDC says the flu virus circulates year-round, but usually peaks between December and February.

Categories: Coronavirus, Health