A rise in health disorders mainly respiratory illnesses throughout Virginia has been reported recently, as per the statement of Virginia Health Department. The department notified the state residents in an alert regarding the increase in diseases like influenza, Legionnaire’s disease, pneumonia and pertussis or whooping cough.
The department also informed that most of those affected are older adults and ones, who are living an assisted house with long-term care facilities due to prevailing incurable diseases.
As per Jonathan Falk, the epidemiology program manager at the Health Department, every disease has its own separate pattern. He said, “Generally speaking, we do see respiratory illnesses of different sorts year round.”
“We noticed this particular uptick happening once we were officially out of flu season and that coupled with the heat warranted making everyone aware of what’s going on.”
The Virginia Health Department explaining the current situation said that, “Certain groups are especially vulnerable for developing severe respiratory illness, including young children, adults 65 years or older, those with chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and heart conditions) and those with weakened immune systems.”
The department further added that the severe heat, which the state is currently experiencing, might also prove fatal to older adults and people suffering from heart and lung ailments.
State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver, MD, MA said, “A variety of germs cause respiratory illness, some with increased activity in summer months. We encourage everyone to take steps to minimize the severity and prevent spreading illness to others.”
The Virginia Health Department also posted tips to avoid health-related illnesses on their website. Some of these tips include “drinking plenty of water, keeping cool indoors, dressing for the heat, and limiting physical activity, especially in the middle of the day”.
While the Fairfax County Health Department said that it is observing the breakout, it also provided some news offering sigh of relief. The agency said, “There have been no new illnesses reported in the assisted living and Garden Ridge areas for the last few days, and residents who have been ill are recovering.”
The efforts of Virginia Health Department are certainly appreciable and at the same time it might further help to better the cause if the department comes with certain method to ensure containing the outbreak, finding a root cause to it and employing methods to put an end to it as well.