The Facilities for Illness Management Prevention on Monday inspired individuals to put on masks to assist cut back the unfold of respiratory diseases this season as Covid, flu and RSV flow into on the identical time.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, in a name with reporters, mentioned sporting a masks is one in all a number of on a regular basis precautions that individuals can take to scale back their probabilities of catching or spreading a respiratory virus through the busy vacation season.
“We additionally encourage you to put on a high-quality, well-fitting masks to stop the unfold of respiratory diseases,” Walensky mentioned, significantly for individuals residing in areas with excessive ranges of Covid transmission.
The CDC director mentioned the company is contemplating increasing its system of Covid neighborhood ranges to incorporate different respiratory viruses such because the flu. The system is the premise for when CDC advises the general public to put on masks. However Walensky inspired the general public to take proactive motion.
“One needn’t wait on CDC motion with the intention to put a masks on,” Walensky mentioned. “We’d encourage all of these preventive measures — hand washing, staying house whenever you’re sick, masking, elevated air flow — throughout respiratory virus season, however particularly in areas of excessive Covid-19 neighborhood ranges.”
About 5% of the U.S. inhabitants lives in counties the place the CDC is formally recommending masks as a result of excessive Covid ranges. The CDC continues to advocate masking for anybody travelling by aircraft, prepare, bus or different types of public transportation, Walensky mentioned.
These with weak immune techniques or face a heightened danger of extreme illness must also think about sporting a masks, the CDC director mentioned.
Walensky strongly inspired everybody eligible to obtain their flu shot and Covid booster. Flu vaccination protection is lagging for at-risk teams — youngsters beneath age 5, pregnant girls, and at-risk seniors — in contrast with final yr, the CDC director mentioned. There isn’t any vaccine for RSV.
The flu arrived early and hit the U.S. exhausting with hospitalizations at a decade excessive for this time of yr. Greater than 8.7 million individuals have fallen ailing, 78,000 have been hospitalized, and 4,500 individuals have died from flu up to now this season, in accordance with CDC information. Greater than 19,000 individuals have been hospitalized with the flu through the week ending Nov. 26, practically double the earlier week.
Folks hospitalized with Covid additionally elevated 27% through the week ending Dec. 2, in accordance with CDC information. Respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, has additionally been hospitalizing youngsters at greater price than in earlier years. Walensky mentioned RSV seems to have peaked within the Southeast and could also be leveling off within the Mid-Atlantic.
Dr. Sandra Fryhofer, board chair of the American Medical Affiliation, mentioned the circulation of Covid, flu and RSV on the identical is a “an ideal storm for a horrible vacation season.” Fryhofer mentioned she understands many individuals are bored with receiving repeated Covid photographs, however getting vaccinated is the easiest way to avoiding falling ailing over the vacations.
“You may get actually, actually sick this yr and break your vacation celebrations if you aren’t getting vaccinated,” Fryhofer mentioned throughout Monday’s name.
This can be a creating story. Please verify again for updates.