CDC report: Decrease in flu cases due to masks, social distancing

COVID-19 and the flu could have made for a grim double-whammy this fall, but 2020 may be finally about to get some good news.

"It’s kind of, it’s good news. Finally some good news."

There's finally some good news as we look down the COVID pipeline.

The CDC released a new report saying that because people are wearing masks, social distancing and taking preventative measures against the spread of COVID-19, they're seeing a substantial reduction in flu cases.

"It actually makes sense that if you can stop one respiratory virus with masks and social distancing, which we know we can with COVID. Oh yeah, the flu is a respiratory virus. We’re probably going to have the same impact on that," said Seminole County Medical Director Dr. Todd Husty.

According to the CDC, data shows low levels of flu circulation in the U.S. this summer with a positivity rate almost 12 times less. There was a flu positivity rate of 2.35% last summer, compared to only .20% this summer. 

Dr. Husty says the data isn't that surprising.

"I think the people that were making the dire predictions were thinking about when we weren’t wearing masks and we weren’t social distancing," he said.

But now that folks are following protocols, things have changed. That also doesn't mean we should lower our guard.

"They’re not off the hook yet. They still have COVID patients making things tough, so we’re not off the hook," Dr. Husty said.

Still, he says, plan to get a flu shot this year and continue following CDC guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19 because now... "We know what works. We know what doesn’t and good, we’re going to kill two birds with one stone, or with one mask," Dr. Husty said.