Australians wiped out the flu and avoided 50,000 other cases of sickness and disease.

Lockdowns and border closures mean many diseases have been prevented

It’s peak season for flu here in Australia and there’s almost no sign of it.  As Chris Gillham wrote here back in May, we know lockdowns stop viruses, because flu cases are 85% down.  Now he shows that this extends to other diseases too, and Chris has used data from the National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (https://ift.tt/2PVsrjf) to calculate that just shy of 200,000 fewer Australians contracted any of the notifiable diseases in the first seven months of 2020 compared to the first seven months of 2019.

Is this the price of holiday-makers bringing back diseases from overseas each year? No one wants to stop the return of planes to the skies, but it begs the question — do we have to accept the onslaught of winter germs every year?

The answer may lie with other things we’ve discovered in the Covid pandemic too — that sick people should stay home from work and school, and that we have a lot of anti-viral tools we can use. Perhaps it’s time that travellers considered taking preemptive anti-virals, which might improve their holidays and also reduce the disease burden back at home.

The huge […]

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August 11, 2020 at 09:29AM

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