As the number of influenza cases increases in Puerto Rico, health professionals are urging citizens to take preventive measures to stop the spread of the virus. Wearing masks and getting vaccinated are the first lines of defense against the flu. The president of the Hospital Association, Jaime Pla Cortés, emphasized that wearing masks is essential, especially when going to the emergency room to avoid infecting others.
The Department of Health also confirmed the death of a pediatric patient due to influenza, pushing the death toll to 57. Hospitalizations due to influenza have increased, but most patients don’t require hospitalization and are sent home with medical prescriptions. However, there is concern about the possibility that hospital services may become saturated.
Carlos Díaz Vélez, the president of the College of Surgeons, highlighted the need for people to take the flu seriously, especially given the similarities between influenza and Covid-19 in terms of preventive measures like wearing masks and getting vaccinated. Other factors contributing to the surge in influenza cases include late vaccination and high temperatures due to climate change.
Juanita Aponte Morales, president of the Association of Owners of Long-Term Care Centers, stressed the need for preventive measures to protect the elderly, who are at greater risk of contracting the flu. She emphasized the importance of vaccination as a safety measure for the elderly and their caregivers. Senior care facilities are implementing mask-wearing and vaccination events to prevent the spread of the virus.
As the holiday season approaches, family members are encouraged to take the responsibility of getting vaccinated to protect their loved ones. Prevention methods largely depend on family members during the festive season, and the call is for them to give the gift of life through vaccination.
The health system in Puerto Rico is already under strain from dealing with the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, and the surge in influenza cases will further burden the system. It is crucial for citizens to take responsibility for their health and protect vulnerable groups from the flu.