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With infections on the rise at the start of flu season, the need for measures to limit transmission is as strong as ever.
The American College of Physician (ACP) is stressing the importance of preventive measures in battling the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
In a news release the organization says with the nationwide increase in COVID-19 infections, the start of influenza season, and the start of winter it is important to reiterate the importance of preventive measures including wearing a face mask, continuing to practice social distancing, and hygiene protocols.
The ACP issued a policy earlier this year supporting the waring of cloth or surgical masks by the public in community setting where physical distancing is impossible and also supports federal, state, and local public health authorities in their efforts to put evidence-based interventions in place as part of a strategy to prevent and contain the spread of COVID-19. These efforts should also include education on proper mask use and widespread testing and contact tracing. IT should take local demographics, epidemiology, and exposure context into account as well, the release says.
“We need to remain vigilant, even as we are all increasingly fatigued by the impacts of COVID-19,” Jacqueline W. Fincher, MD, MACP, president of ACP, says in the release. “There are important steps all of us can take to help reduce transmission and protect ourselves and our loved ones. As I tell my patients, Pay attention to the 3 Ws - Wear a mask, Wash your hands, and Watch your distance.“
The organization also urges adults get recommended immunizations for protection against common, but sometimes serious, diseases. These protect against health problems, hospitalizations, or death and can help prevent the spread of disease, especially for those who are particularly vulnerable to complications; such as those with chronic conditions or the elderly, the release says.
According to the release, in addition to the flu vaccine, other recommended vaccines include Tdap to protect against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough); pneumococcal to protect against pneumococcal pneumonia, bacteremia, and meningitis; HPV to prevent cervical, anal, and other cancers; hepatitis A and B; and herpes zoster to help prevent shingles.