As the winter holidays are fast approaching, local hospitals are reporting more respiratory related cases. Protect yourself so that your holiday season isn’t bedridden with a flu! Let us all do our part to make sure our Winter holiday season is filled with good health. As of mid-November, Ontario’s top doctors has strongly recommended that masking should take place indoors, crowded places and on public transportation.
Hospitals are overwhelmed with the amount of patients walking into the emergency room and noticed an increase in children with respiratory viruses. There are three major viruses spreading through the season: COVID-19, Influenza, and RSV. At SickKids hospital, half of the pediatric patients who are ventilated have RSV and the other half have influenza. These respiratory illnesses are a risk to children because they’ve spent the last few years masking and haven’t been exposed to the continuously evolving viruses over the last couple years. Surgical procedures are even being put on hold to save room in the critical care units.
The Ontario government is considering introducing a mask mandate again in certain settings to prevent the spread of viruses. We should be going back to following the precautions we took in March 2020, including handwashing, masking, and staying home when ill.
Tips to have a safe winter break:
-Wear a mask when in a public setting (for example, when doing your holiday shopping at the mall, or in any other crowded places. When in doubt, mask up!)
-If there is somebody in your family who might get severely ill if they caught a virus, it is recommended to wear a mask if you are in close contact with children under the age of eight. Viruses spread easily through kids because their immune system is weaker and much contact is made when kids interact and play together at school.
-Wash hands frequently
-Ensure you are up to date with vaccinations. If you are unsure, visit your local clinic or pharmacy.
-Keep surfaces disinfected to stay safe from flu and RSV
-Keep children out of large crowds
-Stay home if you or anyone in your household are sick
Happy Holidays from the WCHC Team!
-Tariq, Caprice, Jenna