Wednesday, September 27, 2023 | Rabi' al-awwal 11, 1445 H
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Nothing to worry about Respiratory virus spread: MOH

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Muscat: Respiratory virus activity is usual at this time of the year and is nothing to worry about, the Ministry of Health (MOH) clarified on Saturday and added that there has been a clear increase in cases infected with respiratory viruses recorded in the Sultanate of Oman, while cases of Covid-19 are still at low levels.

There is no truth to what is rumored about the presence of a new mutant in the Sultanate of Oman, the ministry stressed.

Meanwhile, health experts have said that the annual flu vaccination is a protection for the individual and his family.

Dr. Abdullah al Qayudhi, a consultant in infections and immunity at the Directorate General of Disease Control at MOH, has said that winter is a suitable season for the increase in the activity and reproduction of many respiratory viruses, such as influenza virus, rhinovirus, and respiratory syncytial virus.

The Director General for Disease Control and Surveillance said that Covid-19 positive cases have been reported in small numbers over the past few weeks, but there has been an increase in the cases of seasonal influenza and added that rumors on the presence of a mutated virus for Covid-19 are false.

He added that most respiratory viruses (RSV) currently prevalent in the Sultanate of Oman are influenza viruses, and sometimes more severe than Covid viruses. "Covid cases continue to exist at very low levels in the Sultanate.'

Qayudhi said that microbes multiply in general and they need several important factors for reproduction such as air temperature, humidity, and availability of food.

Viruses spread faster in poorly ventilated indoor spaces.

Regarding the concern and apprehension among some about the spread of viruses, the doctor stressed that respiratory viruses spread naturally at this time of the year, and the symptoms of cold and fever are frequent.

" This is what we witness annually from an increase in the activity of respiratory viruses during this time of the year and there is no need to worry", he added.

In regard to the situation of children whether they are more vulnerable to disease or not, the doctor said that respiratory viruses often spread among children in schools and nurseries, because it is not possible to control the behavior of children and ensure their commitment to preventive measures. "Also, in children who are less than a year old, their immune systems are often in the process of developing, and therefore; more susceptible to viral infections. Annually, there is a group of children infected with respiratory viruses that need to be admitted, whether in regular hospital wards or intensive care, and this year is no different from previous years."

Qayudhi said when there are only mild symptoms of a cold, it is recommended to take fever and cold medicines from pharmacies, but when there are severe respiratory symptoms and difficulty in breathing, it is advised to go to the nearest health center for examination by the medical team.

He advised everyone to take the influenza vaccine for protection from severe infections of four types of influenza, H1N1 and H3N2, and two types of B virus.

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