Influenza spreading as people relax their guard

Influenza spreading as people relax their guard

Easing of Covid-linked restrictions has led to less mask wearing, says Opas

The same measures used to prevent Covid-19 can help prevent other respiratory diseases, says Dr Opas Karnkawinpong, head of the Department of Disease Control. (Photo supplied)
The same measures used to prevent Covid-19 can help prevent other respiratory diseases, says Dr Opas Karnkawinpong, head of the Department of Disease Control. (Photo supplied)

Seasonal influenza has been spreading rapidly as people have relaxed their guard against Covid-19 infections, according to the Department of Disease Control.

Strict Covid prevention measures — wearing face masks, hand washing and social distancing — over the past months have helped prevent the spread of respiratory diseases such as influenza, said Dr Opas Karnkawinpong, the department’s director-general.

Now, influenza has been found to be spreading more rapidly. The disease normally is more prevalent during the peak months of the rainy season, starting in August.

But since many Covid-19 restrictions have been eased in recent months, some people have relaxed their guard and are being seen not wearing face masks during gatherings such as parties, dining and drinking alcohol together. This has increased their risk of getting infected with respiratory diseases such as influenza, said Dr Opas.


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