During times of high respiratory virus activity, doctors should use masks, according to experts

16 Aug 2023 • During the pandemic, rates of non-SARS-CoV-2 viral respiratory infections notably decreased, with a 100% reduction in hospital-onset influenza and RSV during the intra-pandemic period marked by preventative measures. The study categorized cases as community or hospital onset and analyzed the impact of infection control measures, including universal masking, symptom screening, and visitor restrictions, which began in March 2020 to reduce SARS-CoV-2 transmission. Results were divided into pre-pandemic, intra-pandemic, and post-acute-pandemic periods. Hospital-onset respiratory viral infections were primarily influenza, RSV, and rhinovirus. The lowest incidence occurred in the 2020/2021 period. The intra-pandemic phase witnessed a 100% reduction in hospital-onset influenza and RSV, while the post-acute-pandemic phase showed a 53% decrease using influenza-like illness rates and a 44% decrease using community-acquired hospitalizations to adjust for community incidence. The findings suggest that infection control measures, particularly masking, may significantly impact the transmission of respiratory viral infections. Source: Healio | Read full story

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