While some parents in Manitoba are pleased that the state is hosting a forum to inform people about caring for sick children amid an increase in respiratory viruses, the format It becomes a barrier for people who want to ask questions.
Tuesday’s phone town hall for parents and caregivers is open to anyone who wants answers from Manitoba’s top doctors.
However, if you would like to call Dr. Elisabeth Doyle, Medical Director and Director of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at Children’s Hospital in Winnipeg, and Dr. Brent Luthan, Chief Public Health Officer of Manitoba, register on the state website before the 7pm call.
Winnipeg mom Lauren Kelly with almost two-year-old daughter recently in the pediatric intensive care unit She, who has respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), said she wanted the state to use options like YouTube where she could drop by to ask questions without having to sign up in advance. He said he would like to have easier access to City Hall.
“Parents are tired and busy and don’t have time to take the extra steps,” Kelly said.
City Hall comes as Manitoba’s doctor Warn Breathing of ‘Triple Threat’ virus seasonthe combination of COVID-19, influenza, and respiratory syncytial virus cases threatens to overwhelm state hospitals.
Julie Lajoie, a virologist and mother, said making information easily accessible to parents is important to public health, and pre-registration for sessions is an “unnecessary barrier.” says there is.
“We need to have information about how people can protect themselves and how they can protect their communities,” said LaJoie, a researcher at the University of Manitoba.
A spokesperson for Shared Health, which oversees health care delivery in Manitoba and organizes city halls, said having attendees register their phone numbers helped organizers reach large numbers of people at once. Said it was the easiest way to get in touch.
And while only those on the call will have the opportunity to ask questions, the Town Hall will also be live-streamed and available for viewing after it finishes, a spokeswoman said.
What information do parents need?
Lajoie said city hall doctors know what viruses are circulating and what they can do to reduce the spread, including getting vaccinated, staying home when sick, and wearing masks in indoor public spaces. He said that it would be important to explain whether
She said it’s also important to understand that while viruses like respiratory syncytial virus primarily affect children, “it’s not just a disease of children.”
Kelly would like to hear information to help parents like her make risk management decisions, such as the number of RSV cases in places like schools and daycares.
She also wants to know the state’s plan to slow the spread of the respiratory virus, even if it doesn’t include the kind of draconian measures seen previously with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There are steps that can be taken that are not in this closed society approach. No one is asking for it,” she said.
“But I think there are some ways … we know they work to reduce respiratory viruses.”
And while City Hall enters weeks into the early respiratory virus season that boosted Winnipeg’s Children’s Hospital, to crisis levelvirologist Lajoie said these diseases aren’t going away anytime soon — there’s still time to act.
“There will be an outbreak of respiratory viruses that will further strain the healthcare system,” she said.
“So it’s never too late to try to help in any way we can.”