Local respiratory illnesses up after mask mandate lifted

Local News

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Ohio’s mask mandate has been lifted almost three weeks now. While COVID-19 case numbers are staying low, the number of other respiratory illnesses is up.

Dr. James Kravec, chief medical officer at Mercy Health, said both doctors’ offices and the emergency room are seeing more patients with colds or respiratory viruses not related to COVID-19. He added that these cases haven’t been more severe than normal and that an uptick in viruses was expected as life gets back to normal and people are no longer wearing masks.

“I expected to see other infectious diseases like common colds and respiratory illnesses again, non-COVID-related spread from person to person a little bit more, so this is really expected,” Kravec said.

Kravec said the best way to avoid many infectious diseases to wash your hands and practice good hygiene.

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