Hand Washing and Mask Helpful Against COVID-19 and Flu
Both COVID-19 and influenza virus are respiratory viruses, which can be spread through contact, droplets, etc., and the symptoms after infection are similar, such as coughing and fever, and they can cause death in severe cases. Studies have shown that factors such as dry and cold winters and people often gathering indoors with poor ventilation are conducive to the spread of these two viruses.
However, the epidemics caused by the two viruses are also different. Experts from the World Health Organization have judged based on available data that the proportion of severe cases and mortality after COVID-19 infection is relatively higher.
The emergence of COVID-19 and the flu epidemic will put huge pressure on the medical system; for individuals, there may also be simultaneous infections with two viruses, resulting in more serious illness. Therefore, it is very important to prevent and control the epidemic.
Before the successful development of COVID-19 vaccine and large-scale vaccination, the prevention of COVID-19 mainly depends on frequent hand washing, wearing masks, frequent ventilation, and maintaining social distance. These measures are also effective in preventing influenza. In addition, safe and effective vaccines are available to prevent influenza.
The WHO stated in mid-October this year that as the northern hemisphere winter approaches, global COVID-19 cases are increasing. It is recommended that five groups of pregnant women, patients with underlying diseases, the elderly, health workers and children receive influenza vaccination. People should be the first group to receive influenza vaccination during COVID-19 pandemic.
Influenza vaccination cannot directly prevent COVID-19 infection, but it is indeed beneficial to the prevention and control of the COVID-19 virus. Sandra Keish, an epidemiologist at the Western Medical Group, told the media that influenza vaccination can first prevent the immune system from being damaged by influenza viruses and increase resistance; secondly, it can prevent people from being infected with two viruses at the same time, reducing severe illness and death. Risk; third, because the symptoms of the two are similar, if a person receiving influenza vaccine has symptoms such as cough and fever, the possibility of COVID-19 can be considered first when seeing a doctor, which is equivalent to “screening.”
The good news is that so far, many places in the northern hemisphere have reported flu cases that have dropped significantly compared to previous years. In some southern hemisphere countries that have passed the winter, the number of seasonal flu patients and deaths this year is also less than in previous years. Experts believe that this is inseparable from the prevention and control measures of the COVID-19 epidemic, which proves that frequent hand washing and wearing masks have preventive effects on COVID-19 and influenza.
Experts reminded that when COVID-19 and the flu “come in one after another”, people need to be vigilant and pay attention to protection. Once respiratory symptoms appear, they should seek medical attention in time, pay attention to home isolation, go to work or class without illness, contact family members or go to the hospital for treatment Standardize wearing masks to avoid cross-infection.