Masks recommended for vulnerable patients as three viruses hit Houston

In the last week, a majority of states saw a rise in COVID-19 and flu cases. Some are even turning back to mask recommendations.

The Houston wastewater reflects that the virus is high here too. Our local experts are not requiring masks, but one local doctor recommends wearing them for specific times.

“It’s highly recommended, particularly in high-risk populations like children, elderly, if you are considering engaging in social activities with a large number of people,” said Public Health Specialist Dr. Maria Mejia with Baylor College of Medicine.

Mejia said we’ve let our guard down but we aren’t out of the woods yet.

“We’re not quite there yet. So in this season, it is just the perfect combination of these three viruses running around altogether,” she said. She also warned those older than 65 and children under the age of five need to take precautions to stay healthy.

Due to the rise in infections, children’s pain reliever is in short supply everywhere, adding to complications for those who are sick.

Dr. Emily Volk, President of the College of American Pathologists, says “immunity debt” is the reason we’ve seen a rise in sickness.

“Fewer infections during [the pandemic] means fewer people became immune to these viruses so now we’re seeing more viruses because of that lessened immunity,” Dr. Volk said.

Experts recommend getting flu vaccines and COVID boosters are necessary to avoid illness.