By Dr. Mallika Marshall

BOSTON (CBS) – Efforts to stem the spread of COVID-19 have also driven down the rates of other infectious diseases.

The Wall Street Journal reports that flu cases fell by 99-percent this year compared to last. Cases of chickenpox, strep throat, and stomach viruses have also dropped precipitously during the pandemic.

All of the disinfecting and hand sanitizing we’ve done over the past year is largely responsible. But as we resume our normal activities, even as COVID-19 cases are falling, there has been an uptick in other respiratory infections.

So let us be reminded that continuing to wash our hands and cough into our elbows and staying home while sick will remain important public health measures.

Dr. Mallika Marshall