Clinics dedicated specifically to treating influenza can limit the number of people infected and help to flatten the curve of the seasonal flu, which could also benefit the fight against the novel coronavirus, a study finds.

“Dedicated clinics would have less of an impact than interventions such as vaccination, but at the statewide level, we’re talking about cutting the overall number of infections by six figures,” says Julie Swann, corresponding author of a paper on the work. Swann is the department head and A. Doug Allison Distinguished Professor of the Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at North Carolina State University.

“And while our work here focused on the H1N1 strain of influenza, the findings are useful as we grapple with how best to respond to COVID-19,” Swann says. “COVID-19 is more infectious than H1N1, and has a higher mortality rate. So I would expect the effect of using dedicated clinics to be larger for COVID-19.”

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