Due to the onset of winter in British Columbia (B.C) and the risk of Covid and other respiratory diseases on the rise, health experts are urging citizens to wear masks indoors too.
The advent of winter means more and more people are going to spend time indoors and even gather up for partying and other group activities. This can make the situation worse when there is a predicted threat of Covid and other respiratory diseases like Respiratory Synciatic Virus (RSV) and common flu.
These viruses spread at a faster rate and in most cases they spread from one person to another through droplets exhaled by the infected person through mouth or nose. This has caused concerns among healthcare professionals as the mask mandate had been removed from B.C months ago.
Due To Covid And The Flu, Health Professionals Advise Wearing Masks Indoors
Dr.Sarah Otto, a Professor at the University of British Columbia and a member of the B.C COVID-19 Modeling group said in a statement that as the viruses spread through the air, wearing a mask can be the most effective way of preventing an infection.
She expressed her concern about the fact that a lot of people are still at the hospital, recovering from COVID and the flu season is already setting in. This will put a lot more people out from work and sick in the coming days. Otto said that this is going to be like a “double-whammy” in the healthcare sector. She urged the citizens to wear a mask as she does when going to a grocery store or when using public transit as this would stop the virus from spreading to a higher number of people.
Otto also warned that the current variant of Covid in B.C is BQ.1.1 and it is known to be a highly contagious variant and also it is believed to have certain mutations that enable it to evade our immune systems. So it is always a best practice to take all the necessary precautions to keep this virus at bay.
The B.C Health minister Adrian Dix also reminded the people about the importance of getting vaccinated against viral infections. Both the Influenza and Covid vaccination drives have been managed very well in the province but he said that the numbers need to be increased.
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Currently, around 500,000 people in B.C have taken the Flu vaccine. Dix also requested people to wear masks indoors. He said that even though it is not a mandatory thing to do, we can all do it for the sake of our friends and family, especially during this time of the year when the infection cases are increasing.
In the US too, cases of Covid, RSV, and Common flu are on the rise, and in many US states, hospital beds are filling fast with infected patients. Doctors and healthcare experts are asking citizens to take all the necessary safety measures that were taken during the Covid lockdown like regularly washing and sanitizing their hands, wearing masks, staying indoors if they have a fever, not engaging with crowds, and getting vaccinated.
Young Children and infants are also getting affected by the RSV virus and pediatric hospitals are facing an unprecedented rush in the number of infected cases. In most cases, the infection doesn’t cause much harm as the symptoms would be that of a common cold with sneezing, fever, etc. But in infants and older people, these can sometimes lead to complications like inflammation of the air passage and lung infection as these groups have weakened immunity. The US health department has warned about a possible “tripledemic” as the cases of Covid, RSV and Flu are increasing each week.
🔵Mayo Clinic (1998-2022) How well do face masks protect against COVID-19? (Available On):https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/coronavirus-mask/art-20485449
🔵Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (n.d) Interim Guidance for the Use of Masks to Control Seasonal Influenza Virus Transmission (Available On):https://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/infectioncontrol/maskguidance.htm
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