Take Precautions as Winter Viruses Surge
The Spread of COVID-10, Influenza, and RSV Can be Reduced to Ensure the Health and Safety of All Members of the Community
As we approach the cooler days of fall and winter, it’s also time to prepare for respiratory illness season. The spread of COVID-19, flu, and RSV are diseases that can be reduced to ensure the health and safety of all members of the community.
Here is the latest information and best practices from Dr. Tami Hendriksz, Interim Chief Academic Officer in addition to being Dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine at Touro University California.
“We are seeing an increase in the number of people who have COVID currently and are expecting those numbers to continue to rise. With an increase in people getting the flu and other respiratory viruses like RSV, we are anticipating this cold and flu season to be a particularly bad one,” says Dr. Hendriksz. “The best thing that everyone can do to protect themselves is to get vaccinated and stay home when they are sick.”
Here are some additional measures to help you stay safe and minimize the spread of illnesses:
Practice Good Hygiene:
- Wash your hands frequently with hand sanitizer, or soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Stay Home if You're Feeling Unwell:
- If you have symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, or shortness of breath, please stay home and seek medical guidance.
- Get tested for COVID-19 if you are exhibiting symptoms or have been exposed, and follow the CDC Isolation Guidelines accordingly.
Respect Personal Space:
- While maintaining social distancing, respect others’ personal space and avoid close contact, especially in crowded areas.
- Even though not mandatory, wearing masks indoors, particularly in enclosed and crowded spaces, is highly encouraged.
- Wearing masks can significantly reduce the risk of spreading and contracting airborne illnesses, including COVID-19, flu, and RSV.
- There are now vaccines to protect against all three of these. It is highly recommended that everyone 5 years and older receives the new monovalent COVID-19 booster and the flu shot early this fall.
- The new monovalent booster protects against the current circulating strains of COVID-19.
- There is an RSV Vaccine available for adults ages 60 years and older - please speak with your health care clinician to find out more information if it is recommended for you.
- Keep up-to-date with local health advisories and follow any guidelines provided by health authorities.
“People should plan to get the new COVID booster early this fall,” says Dr. Hendriksz. “People who just recently received the old booster or had a COVID infection should wait two-three months before getting the updated vaccine. Additionally, everyone should plan to get the annual flu vaccine early this fall."