Seasonal viruses and COVID continue to make infectious disease experts concerned during this time of the year. As our third pandemic winter approaches, new variables prompt the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and the World Health Organization to remind us that although we are not where we were a year or so ago, the COVID-19 pandemic is still not over. The co-circulation of COVID-19 and seasonal influenza has the potential to put a strain of on our healthcare systems with
vulnerable populations, including the young and elderly, the immunocompromised
and those with comorbidities and/or underlying conditions at the highest risk.
Together with public health measures, vaccination remains one of our most effective tools against both viruses. It decreases chances of being infected and reduces the risk of severe consequences from COVID-19 and seasonal influenza.
Awareness, precautions and advanced planning for safe family gatherings and travel can lessen and help control individual and community risk and exposure to avoid another winter of discontent. As increasing numbers of people revert to pre-pandemic lifestyles, it's still important to mask when you need to, avoiding crowds and keeping you health habits on track to maximize your chances of staying safe and well, doing the best you can to protect each other.