Wearing a Mask Can Also Help Prevent Getting the Flu?
As we all know, wearing a mask during this Covid-19 pandemic helps prevent it from spreading to one person to another. However, did you know that by everyone wearing these masks, it’s also helped prevent and lower flu cases this season? Think about it. When is the last time you heard someone say, “Oh I had/have the flu.” Most likely, you haven’t.
When wearing a mask, the goal is to wear it covering your mouth and nose and is intended to help prevent someone who might have contracted the virus but might not even know it. It also prevents them from spreading it to others. When someone wears their mask, it creates a simple barrier that helps prevent respiratory droplets from traveling into the air. Due to this, this is not only helping prevent covid from being spread but also the flu.
The flu is spread in some of the same ways the coronavirus is. Some people have found that wearing not one mask but two or three have actually been found to have more of a higher impact than wearing just a singular mask. Due to everyone wearing masks continuously, this has caused the rates of both diseases to be reduced. Now when the flu is spread, just like the coronavirus, it spreads from person to person. Although, people with the flu can spread it up to six feet away. The flu is thought to spread by these respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks. The respiratory droplets can then land in the mouths or noses of others nearby, spreading the infection. The Covid-19 virus is said to be transmitted the same way as this; however staying six feet away from someone betters the chances of someone else contracting the virus.
As you can see, there’s many similarities between the coronavirus and the flu. However, there are two major differences. The first big difference is there have been a total 27.8M Covid-19 cases. However, after observing the charts in an article called “What Happened to the Flu?” by Robert Preidt, HealthDay Reporter. There have only been 925 flu cases just this flu season alone nationwide. This shows a very large difference in range between these cases. The second difference is that the coronavirus can take up to two to fourteen days until someone might show symptoms after contracting the virus. Or, in other cases, some people don’t even know they’ve gotten the virus because they’re anti symptomatic. This differs greatly from the flu because usually in the first day to first four days, those who have been infected start showing symptoms. Now sometimes, both can be contracted within a day but still not show any signs that they’ve contracted the virus until later.
Wearing our masks becomes a hassle at times, and it might not always be something we enjoy doing. However, it is reducing the amount of cases for not only the number of covid cases, but also those infected by the flu and other seasonal colds. In a blog called, “Do Face Coverings Also Protect Against the Flu?” that was written by AdventHealth. It talks about how wearing a face covering/mask of some sort has been shown in studies and proven to reduce infections. “In a 2013 study, researchers found that masks led to a reduction in how much flu virus was spread into the airwaves.”
The blog also provides ways aside from wearing your mask that can help you and those around you stay away from these viruses and diseases. Some of those things were: making sure to continue washing your hands with soap and warm water and using hand sanitizers frequently. Staying home when you’re feeling under the weather is also a really good idea. Cleaning commonly touched surfaces and places in your house that might gather dust or bacteria or would cause germs to gather can also help prevent getting infected.
Even though it is proven that wearing face coverings don’t always prevent someone with the coronavirus from spreading it to others, the chances are definitely reduced when wearing a mask of some sort versus not doing anything and spreading germs and the virus to others. Luckily from all of this, most of us aren’t worrying too much about the impact of the flu and other seasonal colds along with the coronavirus since most flu cases and other seasonal colds have been reduced with the usage of masks.