Long-term benefit of wearing masks for endemic diseases depend on the biology of transmission and immunity

Close Up Scientist using microscope in laboratory room while making medical testing and research

Masking—along with social distancing, hand washing, and other so-called “non-pharmaceutical interventions” (NPIs)—proved very effective at limiting the spread of COVID-19, and simultaneously drove down rates of endemic diseases like colds, flu, RSV and others. This prompted infectious disease researchers to ask whether longer-term implementation could reduce flu and RSV outbreak over the long term.

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