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NYC Health Department urges masking up amid 'triple-demic' of respiratory viruses

Health officials say there's a spike in COVID-19, along with seasonal illnesses, and are encouraging mask wearing in indoors and outdoor crowded spaces.

News 12 Staff

Dec 10, 2022, 3:29 AM

Updated 558 days ago

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The New Yorkers City Health Department is urging New Yorkers to mask up once again in the wake of what's being called a "triple-demic" of the flu, COVID-19 and RSV.
Health officials say there's a spike in COVID-19, along with seasonal illnesses, and are encouraging mask wearing in indoors and outdoor crowded spaces.
Dr. Rami Nakeshbandi, chief quality officer at SUNY Downstate, stresses New Yorkers should take the precautions seriously.
"This is maybe one of the first times we are having a triple pandemic including COVID-19, the flu and the RSV. The hospitalization rate has been increasing significantly in most of the hospitals in New York. So I do believe we should take that seriously and go back to the basics," Nakeshbandi says.
While some may be against masking up yet again, Nakeshbandi says it may be the best solution.
"We are going into a mask fatigue. But I think it’s wise at this point," he stresses.
As the city aims to keep New Yorkers safe, the Health Department says it's especially important for those who may be at high risk of COVID-19, RSV or the flu to mask up.
"I've seen patients in the hospital who have any of those three different infections, plus there are other types of respiratory infections," Nakeshbandi says.
As many are expected to gather over the next month, the city is also urging New Yorkers to stay up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccinations along with the annual flu shot.
Nakeshbandi also recommends sticking to what works.
"We want to make sure we are using hand hygiene. Washing your hands every time you come back home, wear masks in crowded indoor places. Make sure you stay home if you get sick so you can help prevent spreading the infections outside," Nakeshbandi says.
The city's Health Department says they are monitoring data with the triple threat New York City is facing.
They add that combined high levels places a strain on the health care system and puts others at risk.


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