Nonpharmaceutical Interventions Used to Control COVID-19 Reduced Seasonal Influenza Transmission in China

J Infect Dis. 2020 Nov 9;222(11):1780-1783. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiaa570.


To suppress the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Chinese government has implemented nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs). Because COVID-19 and influenza have similar means of transmission, NPIs targeting COVID-19 may also affect influenza transmission. In this study, the extent to which NPIs targeting COVID-19 have affected seasonal influenza transmission was explored. Indicators of seasonal influenza activity in the epidemiological year 2019-2020 were compared with those in 2017-2018 and 2018-2019. The incidence rate of seasonal influenza reduced by 64% in 2019-2020 (P < .001). These findings suggest that NPIs aimed at controlling COVID-19 significantly reduced seasonal influenza transmission in China.

Keywords: nonpharmaceutical interventions; COVID-19; incidence; influenza.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19 / epidemiology*
  • COVID-19 / prevention & control*
  • COVID-19 / transmission
  • COVID-19 / virology
  • China / epidemiology
  • Communicable Disease Control
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Influenza, Human / epidemiology*
  • Influenza, Human / prevention & control*
  • Influenza, Human / transmission
  • Pandemics
  • Public Health
  • SARS-CoV-2 / isolation & purification
  • Seasons