State epidemiologist: Masking up led to decline in respiratory illnesses like the flu and pneumonia

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“It is clear virtually all the respiratory pathogens, the organisms that cause common cold or other forms of pneumonia, including influenza, have been much reduced,” Dr. Chad Smelser, the deputy state epidemiologist with NMDOH, said.

The deputy state epidemiologist for the New Mexico Department of Health said masking up and following COVID-19-safe practices like social distancing can help prevent a person from getting a respiratory pathogen.

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