Flu season has been mild this year and healthcare professionals say we can thank masks for that.
Infectious disease specialists warned the covid-19 pandemic could spiral into a twindemic when seasonal influenza hit. Dr. Larry Simon says there wasnt an opportunity for influenza to spread through the population as it normally does.
Simon says "because we were socially distancing, we were wearing masks and we weren't having massive gatherings and so there just wasn't any opportunity for influenza to spread through the population like it normally does"
According to the CDC, 136 people were hospitalized for the flu between october and january... but in comparison, 400,000 people were hospitalized for the flu during the entire 2019–2020 season. It's even impacting drug stores. A report from rite aid found the business lost up to $100 million. Fewer people are coming in for cold and flu medicine.
The precautions we've been taking to prevent covid-19 like social distancing and wearing masks drastically reduced flu transmission... but that doesn't mean you shouldn't take the virus seriously.
Simon says "for our family members who worry about getting the flu and dying because influenza still kills a lot of people okay it's still a very significant and serious illness"
When the pandemic restrictions are lifted and most people are vaccinated experts suspect the flu season will make a comeback.