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Summer cold season outlook for Western New York

Several states have seen a recent increase in people getting respiratory viruses such as the common cold.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — With most of New York State's COVID-19 restrictions dropped, 2 On Your Side wanted to get an outlook on the summer cold season.

We had a conversation with Dr. Thomas Russo, the chief of infectious diseases at the University at Buffalo. He says while he hasn't seen an increase in people getting colds here just yet, a number of southern states have seen an increase already.

Dr. Russo says all of the COVID-19 precautions we have gotten used to taking should help us protect ourselves and others from respiratory viruses, and he says we shouldn't let our guard down.

"Since we've now had restrictions lifted in most states in this country, those measures that protected us not only from COVID, but these other respiratory viruses, are no longer in effect, and therefore, it's likely we're gonna see a bump in these non-COVID respiratory infections," Dr. Russo said.

Dr. Russo is hopeful that people will take what they learned during the COVID-19 pandemic and keep doing those things to stay healthy in the future.

He says he thinks we've learned a number of things from COVID - including that if you are sick, you should stay home from work and school and that masks work.

"I think we've learned a lot about masks from COVID. They protect us from not only getting infected with SARS-coV-2, but also influenza and those other pesky respiratory viruses that plague us during the winter and sometimes the summer. So I fully anticipate that some people during flu season are going to be donning masks whether they're indoors, in events when there's lots of people. It protected us against flu this season, and hopefully they've learned that it will protect them from flu and those other viruses in seasons to come," Dr. Russo said.

Dr. Russo also says wiping down high-touch areas can cut down on the chances of getting everyone else in your house sick. He is hopeful that these habits will stick with us moving forward, because now that restrictions have been lifted, Dr. Russo says we may see an increase in people getting colds.


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