Baguio folk asked to enhance cold weather protection to ward off Covid, other respiratory diseases

Baguio folk asked to enhance cold weather protection to ward off Covid, other respiratory diseases

The Baguio City Health Services Office reminded residents and visitors to keep themselves warm and well-protected against respiratory illnesses including Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as temperature in the city dipped to below 12 degrees Celsius. 

City Health Officer Dr. Rowena Galpo said respiratory diseases caused both by viruses and bacteria typically increase during the cold season thus people need to employ extra protection especially considering that COVID-19-causing virus remains a threat.  

“We have to observe the usual precautions against respiratory diseases.  Keep warm by bundling up in warm clothes, eat healthy, hydrate and exercise to develop strong immunity and seek medical attention when having symptoms especially the senior citizens and persons with health conditions,” Galpo reminded.

She said observing the minimum public health standards against COVID-19 also works against other viruses and bacteria.

“Wear your face masks, observe physical distancing, wash your hands, follow the cough and sneeze etiquette, ensure proper ventilation and avoid crowds, confined spaces and close contact conversations.”

City Epidemiologist Dr. Donnabel Panes said COVID-19 remains to be the dominant respiratory illness in the city, dislodging flu and influenza-like diseases. 

She said the risk of transmission of these illnesses increases in cold weather because people tend to stay indoors.

“To protect ourselves, vaccination continues to be the best weapon,” she said.

Apart from COVID-19, the CESU is on guard against the common respiratory illnesses like cough and colds, pneumonia, bronchitis, asthma and influenza-like illness, an acute respiratory tract disease characterized by fever, headache, myalgia, prostration, coryza, sore throat and severe cough.

The viruses and bacteria causing these diseases are usually airborne and easily spread in the crowd in enclosed spaces where they may persist for hours, particularly in cold weather and in low humidity atmosphere. 

Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) Baguio said the city’s temperature began to plunge last Dec. 2 at 12C and further dipped to 11.4C on Dec. 5.

The cold weather is expected to persist in the next months because of the enhanced northeast monsoon. – Aileen P. Refuerzo