As a community-based family doctor, we have been treating patients who have shown early signs that the wave of viral season is approaching.triple demicof RSV, influenza, and COVID-19.
While much of the news coverage of this virus surge has focused on overcrowded emergency and intensive care units, family physicians are an important first line of defense against serious illness.
This wave of viruses looks like a particularly bad wave of RSV and influenza, but we have to remember that it hits us this time of year. I still don’t know for sure Why is this wave much worse than in recent years?
Findings by Family Physician
Family physicians learned important lessons through the COVID-19 pandemic that they need to apply to the current viral season.
First, the majority of viral infections are mild to moderately severe and can be managed on an outpatient basis by family physicians. Most children go to the emergency room to be treated for viral infections. No need to.
Over the past month, our clinic has surge in sick children Presents RSV, influenza and other viruses. It is becoming more common for him to have a fever that lasts more than 5 days, a persistent cough, and concurrent lung and ear infections that require treatment.
In most cases, these conditions can be managed by a family doctor. In a small number of cases, pediatric emergency personnel are contacted to let them know that the child is on their way for evaluation and further management.
Second, patients should continue to seek medical care from their primary care physician if they have any health concerns, despite the presence of new or recurrent viruses. I have seen the patient delay treatment of serious health problemsThese patients missed critical hours needed to diagnose and treat their condition in a timely manner.
Patients should continue to consult their primary care physician for health advice and treatment, including guidance on viral symptoms.
Third, we are also observing significant ongoing damage. Children and adolescents from long-term social isolationWe also know that excessive screen time and social media affect many young patients.
Accepting or imposing repeated restrictions on social contact Forms of Depression and AnxietyWhile some vulnerable people may try to avoid crowds during viral epidemics, many patients, especially younger ones, may choose to further limit social contact with others. Instead, we must continue to find safe ways to expand and deepen.
Finally, vaccination is an excellent defense against serious illness. Masks also help limit transmission. COVID-19 booster shot are widely available and are recommended for ages 5 and up. Anyone over the age of 12 can receive a bivalent booster. This enhances protection against omicron variants.
Influenza vaccine can also be given at the same time. Highly recommended for children 6 months and older.Indoor masking is now Recommended by Ontario’s Chief Medical Officerreduces transmission in symptomatic people and helps protect those susceptible to serious illness as a result of being infected with RSV, influenza, or COVID-19.
Support to survive the next wave
As we all navigate a new wave of illness, in addition to pressures placed on families, educational systems and the health sector, primary care physicians can draw on insights from the COVID-19 pandemic. .
We can remember our responsibility to protect the most vulnerable by getting vaccinated, staying home when we don’t feel well, and using our health system responsibly.
Your family doctor is there to support your health, participate in the management of your chronic illnesses, and provide advice and direction, especially in the case of viral infections. I’m there to help you get over it and get to the other side.