Face masks, in addition to the new coronavirus, can help prevent flu.
The CDC does not officially recommend face masks for influenza prevention, but lists other “daily precautions”.
Doctors reiterated that masks can help prevent breath droplets from spreading, including influenza and COVID-19.
Of course, people are currently wearing masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. However, experts say that wearing a mask in public can have an added benefit: it reduces your chances of catching the flu.
Like COVID-19, influenza is a virus that is mainly transmitted through infected respiratory droplets. “Wearing a mask is also likely to reduce influenza transmission,” said dr. Richard Watkins, Doctor of Infectious Diseases at Akron, Ohio and Professor of Internal Medicine at Northeast Ohio Medical University.
Rajeev Fernando, MD, an infectious disease expert in Southampton, New York, hopes that the 2020-21 flu season will be easier than usual due to methods of preventing the coronavirus, including the widespread use of masks. “This concept is the same as preventing the spread of COVID-19,” he said. “Masks can help prevent breath droplets from spreading.”
With that in mind, you should still plan to get your flu shot and use other flu prevention methods this year. Here’s what you need to know about flu prevention this year – through face masks and other measures.
Masks should only be part of your flu prevention plan this year.
FWIW: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) do not currently mention the use of face masks in their top recommendations for preventing the spread of influenza. Instead, the CDC recommends avoiding close contact with sick people, covering coughs and sneezing, washing hands with soap and water, avoiding touching the eyes, nose and mouth, and cleaning and disinfecting items that may be contaminated with the virus. causes flu.
However, the CDC instructs the public to take “daily precautions” to stop the spread of COVID-19 as part of their recommendations to prevent the spread of influenza. And one of these steps is the recommendation to wear a mask when leaving the house.
Medical staff wear surgical masks when treating flu patients, Fernando said, and face masks with cloths are likely to provide at least some level of protection. And when someone with the flu wears a mask and the people around them also wear a mask, the chances of the infected person getting sick drop dramatically, Fernando said.