Experts Say Don’t Blame Masks For Latest Outbreak
(AmericanProsperity.com) – Flu season decided to make an early appearance this year, as North America doesn’t typically see peak numbers until at least December. The CDC noticed signs of increased influenza activity as early as mid-October. What could be causing the premature onset of the 2022-2023 flu season? Experts have asserted that people shouldn’t blame masks for the outbreak.
— Lifehacker (@lifehacker) November 16, 2022
Some people believe Americans wearing masks throughout the pandemic caused harm to their immune systems. According to Life Hacker, an epidemiologist at the University of Ottawa, Dr. Raywat Deonandan, asserted that our immune systems aren’t like muscles in the sense that they don’t become weaker if people don’t use them. While the masks may not have hurt the immune systems of people living in the US, that doesn’t mean they didn’t play a role in the sudden surge of flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) cases.
The CDC also noted that US flu cases were virtually nonexistent between 2020 and 2021, the same time the country was dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. The agency expressed concern about the lack of vaccine coverage during that time due to reduced herd immunity. University of Michigan School of Public Health epidemiology professor Arnold Monto told Scientific American that herd immunity determines how many infections a country will see.
Monto added the lack of exposure to the flu has led to people’s immune systems losing antibodies against influenza. The professor declared this was likely due to the lost exposure to the virus during the pandemic as everyone wore masks and was quarantined. Monto mentioned that everyone is going without a mask now, so the typical level of flu transmission is coming back.
Perhaps the recent surge in influenza cases seems so severe because the country spent the last two years not seeing many cases. The numbers could be normal. If so, masks may have played some role in the latest outbreak, but not in the way some people are thinking.
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