Physical distancing reduced the incidence of influenza and supports a favorable impact on SARS-CoV-2 spread in Mexico

  • Efrén Murillo-Zamora Unidad de Medicina Familiar No. 19, Departamento de Epidemiología, Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, Colima, México
  • José Guzmán-Esquivel Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Colima, Colima, México
  • Ramón Alberto Sánchez-Piña Department of Environmental Health, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. Boston, MA, United States
  • Guillermo Cedeño-Laurent Department of Environmental Health, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. Boston MA, USA.
  • Iván Delgado-Enciso Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Colima, Colima, México
  • Oliver Mendoza-Cano Facultad de Ingeniería Civil, Universidad de Colima, Colima, México
Keywords: Influenza, SARS-CoV-2, Physical distancing, CoViD-19, pandemic, Mexico

Abstract

Introduction: Physical distancing preventive measures were implemented in Mexico as a response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (CoViD-19) pandemic. School closures occurred on March 16, 2020, in 10 out of 32 Mexican states, and one week later in the remaining states. Because the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and the influenza virus have similar transmission mechanisms, we aimed to evaluate the impact of physical distancing on the incidence of influenza as a proxy of the impact on SARS-CoV-2 contagion.

Methodology: A national flu surveillance system was cross-sectionally analyzed and daily average percent changes (APCs) of incidence rates were calculated throught Poisson regression models.

Results: Greater decreasing trends (APCs -8.8, 95% CI: -12.5, -4.5; vs. -6.0, 95% CI: -9.9, -2.0; p = 0.026) were documented in the states with earlier school closures and across age groups, suggesting that earlier implementation of physical distance results in reduced SARS-CoV-2 spread.

Conclusions: Physical distancing policies decrease the incidence of influenza infections in Mexico; its favorable impact on the spread of SARS-CoV-2 is commendable.

Author Biographies

Efrén Murillo-Zamora, Unidad de Medicina Familiar No. 19, Departamento de Epidemiología, Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, Colima, México

Dr. Murillo is an Epidemiologyst at the IMSS in Colima, Mexico. in the Epidemiology Departament at Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social. He is a Ph.D. in Medical Sciences and a Master of Science in Public Health and a MD.

José Guzmán-Esquivel , Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Colima, Colima, México

Dr. Guzmán is Chief of the Research Unit at IMSS Colima. He holds a PHD and he is MD.

 

Ramón Alberto Sánchez-Piña, Department of Environmental Health, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. Boston, MA, United States

Dr Sánchez is a PhD graduated from Harvard, Research Associate from Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. 

Guillermo Cedeño-Laurent, Department of Environmental Health, Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. Boston MA, USA.

Dr Cedeño is a PhD graduated from Harvard, Research Associate from Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. 

Iván Delgado-Enciso, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Colima, Colima, México

Dr. Delgado is a PhD in Medical Sciences, MD and Professor of the Medicine Faculty at the Universidad de Colima, Mexico.

Published
2020-09-30
How to Cite
1.
Murillo-Zamora E, Guzmán-Esquivel J, Sánchez-Piña RA, Cedeño-Laurent G, Delgado-Enciso I, Mendoza-Cano O (2020) Physical distancing reduced the incidence of influenza and supports a favorable impact on SARS-CoV-2 spread in Mexico. J Infect Dev Ctries 14:953-956. doi: 10.3855/jidc.13250
Section
Coronavirus Pandemic