Doctors Ask Manitobans to Help Stop the Spread of Respiratory Viruses
Physicians are concerned about Manitobans’ well-being and the risk of hospitals being overwhelmed as three viruses are increasingly spreading across the province. The respiratory viruses, including RSV, COVID-19, and influenza, can be serious for some Manitobans, resulting in hospitalization, intensive care, or death.
Doctors are strongly recommending Manitobans take the following actions to protect themselves and those around them by slowing the spread of respiratory viruses this fall and winter. This includes many of the precautions that have become familiar over the last few years:
- Get a flu shot and fall COVID booster.
- Wear a mask in crowded or poorly ventilated public places.
- Wash or sanitize your hands frequently.
- Stay at home when sick.
“Physicians are very concerned about the triple virus threat to Manitobans health and well-being,” explained Dr. Candace Bradshaw, President of Doctors Manitoba. “While we are concerned, we are comforted by knowing Manitoba is home to the most generous people in Canada. Whether it’s fighting floods, donating blood, or stepping up to help those in need during the holidays, Manitobans step up and help each other out. This fall and winter, an important way to help is by following research-backed medical advice to stop the spread of flu, RSV and COVID viruses.”
Over 95% of doctors have received or are planning on receiving their fall COVID booster and their flu shot, according to a recent survey of Manitoba physicians. “This demonstrates the confidence physicians have in the influenza and COVID vaccines and why we recommend them to our patients,” added Dr. Bradshaw. The same survey found 93% of physicians are concerned about Manitobans health and well-being with increasing respiratory virus spread, and 96% are concerned about hospitals being overwhelmed this fall or winter.
Manitobans are also encouraged to plan now for an unpredictable respiratory virus season. Preparation should focus on ensuring your household has:
- Rapid antigen tests for COVID-19 on hand, which are still available for free at many locations.
- Good quality masks available, with medical or KN-95 masks offering better protection.
- Plans in place for household members to stay home when ill, including children.
“Planning ahead will ensure your family is ready to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses,” said Dr. Michael Boroditsky, President-Elect of Doctors Manitoba. “Take the time now to get ready and discuss your plans, so you aren’t left scrambling when someone has virus symptoms in the days and weeks ahead.”
The survey of Manitoba physicians was conducted online in October.
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