Posted 42 days ago
A CNN analyst on Wednesday suggested that one lesson Americans may learn from the COVID-19 pandemic is that mask-wearing and social distancing should be normal every winter to reduce the spread of the flu.
The U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week published data showing that flue cases this year reached an all-time low. In the 2019-2020 flu season, the CDC reported 195 children died of the flu, but in this 2020-2021 season, that death toll fell dramatically to just one child.
Dr. Paul Offit, the director of the Vaccine Education Center in Philadelphia and a member of the Food and Drug Administration's Vaccine Advisory Committee, was interviewed on CNN's "New Day" to discuss the lifting of statewide mask mandates in Texas and Mississippi when he was asked about declining cases of the flu.
"That's got to be masks, right? And the fact that people are social distancing," CNN host Alisyn Camerota asked.
Offit said she was "exactly right" that mask-wearing and social distancing have contributed to this year's remarkably low levels of the flu. He added that the spread of the flu has been so low this year that the FDA will have a difficult time deciding which strains of the flu people will need to vaccinate against next year.
"If we mask and social distance every winter, we will see a dramatic reduction in the flu, which usually causes hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and tens of thousands of deaths," Dr. Offit said. "I wonder if that will be the lesson from this."
Offit also criticized states lifting mask mandates, saying that about 120 million Americans need to be vaccinated before spread of COVID-19 can significantly be stopped.
"It's very fr... (Read more)
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