We read with interest the work by McQuaid et al. [1] exploring the potential impact of social distancing on global transmission of tuberculosis. Influenza is responsible for a large number of deaths, with the World Health Organization estimating up to 650 000 deaths per year globally [2]. We have explored the impact of social distancing on incidence of influenza in Australia. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Atlanta, GA, USA) recently published a systematic review examining the efficacy of six individual social distancing measures in limiting the spread of community influenza transmission, including isolation of ill persons, contact tracing, quarantine of exposed persons, school and work closures, and avoiding crowding [3]. Following the emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, in addition to closure of international borders, Australia (population 25 million) enacted all six social distancing measures simultaneously and has, to date, been highly successful in “flattening the curve” of COVID-19 [4], with (as of 11 June 2020) 7285 confirmed cases and just 102 deaths [5].


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Citation: Daniel P SteinfortBenjamin CowieDouglas F Johnson