Coronavirus social distancing measures could slow flu, too

Social distancing measures aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus could also help reduce flu transmission this fall, according to public health experts. But Caroline Buckee of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health says it’s still important for people to get a flu shot.

Interventions such as wearing masks, social distancing, and hand washing could mean less flu, but people shouldn’t be complacent, said Buckee, associate professor of epidemiology and associate director of the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics, in an August 13, 2020 interview on KNX1070 NewsRadio in Los Angeles.

“It could be that we’ll see an uptick in coronavirus transmission, and if we have the flu circulating as well, that will make it difficult to diagnose both,” she said. “It will be very problematic if we have hospitalizations for both kinds of transmission.”

With winter coming, and people spending more time indoors, “we really need to be vigilant and try to keep an eye on both circulating viruses,” Buckee said.

Listen to the KNX1070 NewsRadio interview: Could the same measures meant to slow the spread of coronavirus also make the upcoming flu season a mild one?