We’ve been on the Covid-19 pandemic for two and a half years and it looks like other viruses are scrambling for the spotlight.
There has been an outbreak of hand, foot and mouth disease in child care centers across the Northern Territory and North Queensland, with an increasing number of influenza cases, and an outbreak of monkeypox in Australia (although experts say it is unlikely to stop).
The good news is that continuing some of the health and hygiene habits adopted by Kovid will also reduce the risk of other ailments, experts say.
Brain your hands
Studies have shown that the number of people using hand soap after a toilet trip before an epidemic was low: one in four worldwide, and one in two in areas with good access to hand washing facilities.
This has led to many (proud) fingers pointing at the onset of the epidemic, with a flood of public messages and embarrassing celebrity videos emphasizing the importance of washing your hands thoroughly with soap and running water for 20 seconds, or if you use hand sanitizer. Can’t reach tap.
Dr. Kerry Hancock, GP of Adelaide, who specializes in respiratory medicine, says that even though it is now known that SARS-COVE-2 is primarily airborne, hand hygiene is the “cornerstone” of infection prevention – and a simple way to do it. Cutting the transmission of other viruses and bacteria.
“It’s very easy to wash or clean our hands before we touch food … but as a matter of fact, I don’t think people are as strict about it as they were six months ago, at the peak. [of Covid cases] In South Australia. “
Holly See, an associate professor of infectious disease therapies and behaviors at the University of New South Wales, notes that most people are taught hygiene from an early age – but hand hygiene works both ways.
Making sure your hands are clean before traveling to the shops or riding in the elevator is to “keep other people safe”.
The habit of digging: gloves
However, it is not necessary to wear gloves to protect oneself from germs on surfaces such as supermarket trolleys, Xi says.
“People who wear gloves are less likely to wash their hands and their risk is increased because they think their hands are clean.”
Xi recommends getting it for everyone over six months Flu vaccinesWhich is protective against four strains in 2022.
In 2021, zero flu deaths were recorded in Australia, with federal health data showing only 598 confirmed cases from January to early November.
In contrast, influenza has killed three people so far this year, and infected more than 47,860 people. “We’ve spent a few years where the flu isn’t really around, and there’s definitely a concern that people have low levels of protection,” Seale said.
The federal government has already introduced bills for the flu vaccine for those at high risk, but at a time when all state governments have made it temporarily free for the general population – so everywhere except the Northern Territory and the ACT.
Xi called it “a great initiative” and “could really change the way people think about the flu vaccine as part of their routine.” Because once you get it, you’re more likely to go back and get it again. “
Sile adds, it may be worth freeing for a long time. With the flu vaccine, Hancock urges everyone to stay up-to-date with the vaccine. Wave cough (Pertussis), a “bad disease” that spreads to Australia every few years.
Staying at home when you are sick (and masking when you can’t)
Covid-19 has the greatest textual significance Unhealthy people Stay away from work and social eventsSheena Sullivan, an associate professor of infectious disease epidemiology at the Doherty Institute, says.
She hopes employers will lead by example, which means helping staff work from home if enough, or addressing cultural barriers to using sick leave – such as the fear of “bringing down the team”.
But emergency workforce and areas where people cannot work from home continue to present a “real risk” for disease control, and the government must address it, Sullivan says.
“It became clear at the outset of the epidemic that many of the people working with the most vulnerable in our community are part of this large contingency workforce, who have no right to sick leave, and are discouraged from taking time … elderly care and disability care, as well as other Essential services include people who work.
Sullivan hopes that when people have to go out with respiratory symptoms, there will be long-term changes. To wear Mask others out of courtesy.
“I work with people who understand viruses well so it’s an unusual environment – but there are people who, if they know someone in their family is unwell or have symptoms, start wearing N95 while at work.”
Seal suggests employers provide free surgical masks or respirators if new respiratory symptoms appear while employees are at work.
“The best mask is the N95 respirator, tested and tested, and the top is securely fastened with a strap. However, the best deal for the public is a surgical mask to prevent transmission to others,” says Hancock.
Clearing the air
“We know, especially in diseases transmitted by aerosols, Ventilation is importantHancock says.
The World Health Organization Ventilation “Bible” advises building managers as well as people caring for Kovid-19 patients at home to evaluate air flow, but Hancock also encourages people to think about social settings.
“Many cafes and businesses have renovated their buildings – perhaps with more open windows to knock down the walls … wherever I go, for example, not to dine in a crowded place with low ventilation, I would really choose.”
Change to Pit: Obstacles
While good ventilation is important, there are concerns that plastic barriers, As used in many retail checkouts, it interferes with ventilation and provides a false sense of security, Hancock says.
“If you’re at the supermarket counter and you’re coughing, it’s best to wear a mask to protect the cashier. Otherwise, they will be safe from the slightest [by the barrier] But … not from small aerosols, which go up in the air and breathe on the other side. “
There is a plan
The epidemic has also highlighted the importance of people with long-term health conditions Plan to follow up if their health deterioratesHancock says.
“My asthma sufferers were very adept at their antidote. They were really getting the message out that if your asthma is under control and the virus comes – whether it’s SARS-Cove-2 or rhinovirus. [the main cause of the common cold]You are less likely to tip in an exacerbation.
“People with other lung diseases, such as bronchitis or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), find it difficult to control their disease … but all patients with chronic lung disease should have written plans, so they know how to identify them. “If they need to pick up their medication or start another medication, they can call if there is a hotline, or when to call an ambulance.”