Thinking back on the past year, it’s not easy to recall any good news related to public health. However, a recent Scientific American article contained the silver lining that came out of the COVID-19 global pandemic: it made influenza disappear. According to the World Health Organization, since the novel coronavirus began, influenza cases have dropped to negligible levels.
The reason is simple; public health officials believe the measures taken to halt the spread of the coronavirus also worked to stop the flu. Social distancing and wearing masks actually works.
As usual, the WHO made its flu strain recommendations for vaccines in February, but this year they were based on far fewer cases. With fewer virus particles circulating, there’s a smaller chance of mutation, which means this year’s vaccine will likely prove effective next year.