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The National Department of Health has warned parents to take precautionary steps following a sudden increase in Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) infections across the country.

A primary school in the Western Cape recently made headlines when it circulated a letter to parents asking children to wear face masks at school.

The letter was issued by Heideveld Primary School and also shared on their social media platforms. A copy was also sent to the Western Cape Education Department (WCED).

Kerry Mauchline, a spokesperson for the WCED said “The school has advised that they took the initiative to recommend that children with fly symptoms wear a mask as a precautionary measure because exams are coming up and they don’t want learners to get sick and miss exams. No learner will be sent home for not wearing a mask”.

Learners with flu-like symptoms are asked to wear masks at school.

At the beginning of June, the National Department of Health said RSV was at peak circulation in South Africa, while influenza virus infections were starting to increase, and Covid-19 continued to circulate at low levels.

Common symptoms of RSV include nasal congestion, runny bleary eyes, fast breathing, chest indrawing and a tight cough.

Image credit: The Times of Israel

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