No need to panic over Covid surge, but mask up, say doctors | India News – Times of India

 No need to panic over Covid surge, but mask up, say doctors | India News - Times of India

Nearly 7 months after WHO withdrew its public health emergency declaration for CoVID-19, the virus refuses to go away. gave Omicron variety It has mutated into several new subtypes with the latest JN.1, leading to an increase in Covid cases. Although experts said they would wait a few more days before calling it a new wave and no need to panic, they cautioned that the “variant of interest” announced by the WHO should not be last on the list. can
Should everyone with symptoms be tested?
Respiratory infections caused by seasonal flu such as influenza A (H1N1 and H3N2), adenovirus, rhinovirus, and respiratory syncytial virus can cause monsoon-related illnesses that mimic the symptoms of Covid-19. , said Dr Soumya Swaminathan, former WHO Chief Scientist.
“It is not possible to test everyone with symptoms. We must test people hospitalized with severe respiratory infections or pneumonia.
How can escalation be prevented if testing is low?
One way to predict increases is to look for microbes in wastewater. Dr. Subramaniam Swaminathan, an infectious disease specialist at Gleneagles Global Health City, said that in many countries, wastewater samples are tested to detect and report various infections circulating in a community.

Should we wear masks?
“It is a good idea to wear a mask in closed crowded places like wedding halls, trains and buses. It can prevent many airborne diseases, including Covid,” says Dr K Kolindasamy, former director of public health.

“But there is no need to make masks mandatory now. The elderly, pregnant women, and immunocompromised persons should avoid going to crowded places. If they do, they must wear a mask. Those suffering from respiratory infections, colds and coughs should wear masks in crowded places, they say.
Is it time for boosters yet?
Vaccines work well in preventing severe disease. However, immunity is seen to decline. People who were previously infected and received at least 2 doses are still infected.
JN.1 has been called a “species of interest” by the WHO because of its translocation. The latest versions of the vaccine are already available in several countries, including India.
“The elderly, those suffering from illness and chronic medical conditions are strongly recommended to get the vaccine,” said Dr S Ramasubramanian, an infectious disease specialist at Apollo Hospitals.
Precautionary measures should be taken by the government.
The Directorate of Public Health advised all hospitals to keep equipment ready. Director of Public Health Dr TS Selvavinayagam said hospitals have been asked to conduct mock drills after checking the stock of medicines and oxygen storage.

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