The Facilities for Illness Management Prevention on Monday inspired individuals to put on masks to assist scale back the unfold of respiratory diseases this season as Covid, flu and RSV flow into on the identical time.
CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, in a name with reporters, stated carrying a masks is considered one of a number of on a regular basis precautions that folks 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 forestall the unfold of respiratory diseases,” Walensky stated, notably for individuals dwelling in areas with excessive ranges of Covid transmission.
The CDC director stated the company is contemplating increasing its system of Covid group ranges to incorporate different respiratory viruses such because the flu. The system is the idea 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 in an effort to put a masks on,” Walensky stated. “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 group ranges.”
About 5% of the U.S. inhabitants lives in counties the place the CDC is formally recommending masks as a consequence of excessive Covid ranges. The CDC continues to suggest masking for anybody travelling by aircraft, prepare, bus or different types of public transportation, Walensky stated.
These with weak immune programs or face a heightened threat of extreme illness also needs to think about carrying a masks, the CDC director stated.
Walensky strongly inspired everybody eligible to obtain their flu shot and Covid booster. Flu vaccination protection is lagging for at-risk teams — youngsters underneath age 5, pregnant girls, and at-risk seniors — in contrast with final 12 months, the CDC director stated. 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 12 months. Greater than 8.7 million individuals have fallen unwell, 78,000 have been hospitalized, and 4,500 individuals have died from flu thus far this season, based on 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, based on CDC information. Respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, has additionally been hospitalizing youngsters at greater fee than in earlier years. Walensky stated RSV seems to have peaked within the Southeast and could also be leveling off within the Mid-Atlantic.
This can be a growing story. Please verify again for updates.