- Face masks might help protect against the flu in addition to novel coronavirus.
- The CDC doesn’t officially recommend face masks for flu prevention, but does point to other “everyday preventative measures.”
- Doctors reiterate that masks can prevent respiratory droplets from spreading, including for both the flu and COVID-19.
Sure, people wear face masks these days mostly to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. But now experts say there might be an added benefit of wearing your mask when out in public: It could lower your odds of contracting the flu.
Like COVID-19, the flu is a virus that’s mainly spread through infected respiratory droplets. “Wearing a mask will likely decrease transmission of the flu as well,” says Richard Watkins, MD, an infectious-disease physician in Akron, Ohio, and a professor of internal medicine at Northeast Ohio Medical University.
Rajeev Fernando, MD, an infectious-disease expert in Southampton, N.Y., expects that the 2020-21