As rainy season wraps up, winter season is coming. With changing amounts of sunlight, heat, and humidity, the transition from one season to another always brings influenza. Our opening season starts with the Thadingyunt light festival which falls on fullmoon day.
The World Health Organization yesterday cautioned against any relaxation of response actions following the recent slight decline in COVID-19 cases in South-East Asia Region, saying the pandemic continues unbated and our response only needs to be strengthened further to curtail virus transmission. “This festive season we must continue to take responsibility as individuals of the need to maintain physical distance, hand hygiene, cough etiquette and wear a mask when and where needed. People must remember the three Cs – avoid crowded places, avoid closed settings and avoid confined and enclosed spaces with poor ventilation,” said Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia.
Influenza or seasonal fever is common in winter season. Experiments have shown that some viruses, such as influenza, survive longer at low humidity and low temperatures.
The co-circulation of seasonal influenza and COVID-19 in the winters may present challenges for health systems and health facilities, since both diseases present many similar symptoms. Many of the same measures that are effective in preventing COVID-19 are also effective for preventing influenza, including physical distancing, hand hygiene, covering coughs, ventilation and masks.
When catch flu, people should go to fever clinics instead of staying under stress caused by misinterpretation of COVID-19 deaths which has caused unnecessary fear in the public and significant stress. Stress causes high blood pressure and high blood pressure with heart disease or vascular disease causes heart attacks and strokes. It does not means to scare people, but to urge the people to seek medical help at the fever clinics and hospitals. Medical professionals and workers are too overwhelmed to help you.
Continuing the battle against the crippling COVID-19, and coping with the threat from seasonal flu in the transition from rainy to winter, appears to pose a dual challenge to the health authorities. However, we are confident that the COVID-19 strategy, with the increased hand hygiene, cough etiquette and social distancing, our people are practicing daily in the face of COVID-19, will be useful in the war to be waged against two diseases at one time.