SRINAGAR: Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) on Friday has warned of possible triple virus threat this winter.
“We could be facing a triple virus whammy of Covid, Flu and RSV this winter,” said DAK President and influenza expert Dr Nisar ul Hassan. “All three of these viruses are expected to go up as we get into the cold season,” he said.
“The season is already off to a rough start with respiratory illnesses spiking across Kashmir valley.” Dr Hassan said flu and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) are not new. We see them every year during winter months. RSV particularly affects young children.
But in the last two seasons people were hardly exposed to these viruses because of Covid precautions like masking and social distancing,” he said. “Now that people are out without masks, travelling extensively, business has resumed and children are back to schools, there are more opportunities for these viruses to circulate and they could make a comeback,” he said.
The DAK President said in typical years a good percentage of the population gets infected with these viruses and builds immunity against the infections.
“What we are seeing are a couple of years where we didn’t see infections. So more people are susceptible to these viruses in this season that could lead to higher rates of infections and also more severe cases,” he said.
Dr Nisar said pandemic has added another virus to the season mix. While Covid-19 has leveled off, but like other respiratory viruses, we could see uptick in winter. “In the face of possible triple virus threat, people should get flu shot and Covid booster.
And, taking common sense precautions, such as staying home when sick and maintaining personal hygiene, can also help keep everyone healthy and prevent hospitals from getting overwhelmed,” he said.