HARLINGEN, Texas (KVEO) — Social distancing and the use of masks have kept cases of the flu fairly low.

Now that the mask mandate in Texas is ending this Wednesday, officials are urging individuals to continue using masks to prevent spikes in airborne diseases. 

Flu season runs from late Fall until around March. 

For more than a year, masks were a necessary part of every day. Science has proved they have major benefits against COVID, the flu and other airborne illnesses. 

“People are taking precautions to prevent the transmission of viral illnesses,” said Dr. Maldonado. 

Nationally, flu rates are down to historic numbers. A first in over two decades. 

“We’re always concerned about the flu because it mutates a lot and sometimes it can make a big mutation like what happened in 1918,” said Dr. Maldonado. 

Since the pandemic began, there were comparisons to the flu. 

Dr. Jose Maldonado said there is a difference. 

“It’s also a respiratory virus that is less infectious than COVID-19 in general,” he said. 

The CDC reports only one child has died from the virus this flu season. As the mask mandate lifts this week, there are concerns about spikes. 

“I think everyone should be aware that vaccinations for both viruses keep being important and getting it every year is probably the minimum for both,” he said. 

If you are planning to get the recommended flu and COVID-19 vaccine, there are things you should know. 

In most cases, it has been recommended to keep them separated for at least two weeks. 

Other health officials have said less travel also played a role in low flu activity. 

All health officials KVEO spoke to urge the community to continue to wearing masks.