Flu, COVID-19 and RSV: How to Stay Healthy this Winter

respiratory illness, RSV, winter cold

Respiratory illnesses – flu, COVID-19 and RSV – are all on the rise this winter, and it’s important for the very young, old and immune-compromised to be careful about exposure to those who are ill.

Fortunately, flu and COVID-19 vaccinations are updated, and there is a new RSV vaccine now available. The RSV vaccination offers protection against the respiratory virus that sends not just young children to the hospital but also as many as 160,000 adults 65 and older each year.

But there are other strategies you can use to decrease your risk, too. With holiday gatherings upon us, consider the following prevention tips:

  • Schedule vaccinations immediately. Memorial offers drive-thru vaccinations that can be scheduled at mhsil.com. Or find other community vaccination locations at vaccines.gov.
  • Test for flu or COVID-19 before attending gatherings where there might be vulnerable guests.
  • Wash hands regularly.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Wear a mask around large groups of people.
  • Stay home when feeling ill.

“With all the festivities, this is a tough time to stay home if you aren’t feeling 100%,” said Breana Lovel, manager of Infection Prevention at Memorial Health. “But it is the right thing to do not only to protect your loved ones but also to prevent the spread of potential infection to others.”

Looking for a healthcare provider? Visit Memorial Care to view providers in our 16-county area who are accepting new patients. Also consider Memorial’s two-way telehealth video appointments if you are too sick to leave home. The best time to make a virtual appointment is first thing in the morning. Learn more at mymemorialapp.com.

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