As mask mandates lift and people return to in-person work settings and gatherings with family and friends, health experts are starting to see a resurgence of common colds and viruses.
“My suspicion is that we will see these viruses a little more this summer than we have usually seen,” said Dr. Marian Michaels, an infectious disease expert with the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.
“While I can’t predict the future, I am concerned that we could have a more robust influenza season and it may start earlier than expected. So accordingly, everyone over 6 months of age should be vaccinated against influenza,” added Michaels.
Relaxed social distancing measures and reduced mask wearing are why these viruses may have come back at odd time periods.
“When these viruses come back this summer, we need to be cautious and do everything we can to protect ourselves, our families, friends, patients and coworkers,” emphasized Michaels, noting that the most vulnerable to viruses are the older and very young populations, as well as immunocompromised individuals.
People may be concerned if they should be tested for COVID-19 if they experience flu-like symptoms.
“We want the public to take precautions, and if they have any concerns, they should get tested for COVID-19. We recommend testing anyone who has an onset of illness and a loss of sense of taste and smell,” added Michaels.
“I can’t stress this enough. Please continue to practice proper hand hygiene, and if you are sick, do not go out in public,” said Michaels. “Be conscientious of social distancing so you don’t spread virus to others who are vulnerable.”