COVID-19, Influenza and RSV: How to reduce your risk this winter
COVID-19, Influenza and RSV: How to reduce your risk this holiday season
For many, the winter season is when we can spend more time indoors with loved ones! With the increase in respiratory illnesses such as COVID-19, influenza, and RSV, it is important to protect ourselves and our loved ones from serious illnesses caused by these viruses.
There is a currently an increase in COVID-19, Influenza, and RSV illnesses throughout the country, in what some public health leaders are calling a “tripledemic”. This has put pressure on hospital systems to provide care and pharmacies to maintain a good supply of medications. Health officials now rate Clark County’s community risk level as high. Fortunately, there are many precautions that can help prevent the risk for serious illness in our community. Here are a few of the most effective measures:
- Get vaccinated and boosted. You should get a flu shot if you haven’t already this year and stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations with an updated booster dose. Everyone ages 6 months and older is eligible to get vaccinated against flu and COVID-19. The bivalent booster provides good protection against the original coronavirus strain and the newer Omicron variants that account for most of the current cases. Both vaccines can be obtained at the same time, and are available at SNHD clinics, pharmacies, and health care provider offices. To schedule an appointment for an immunization at SNHD, visit this webpage.
- Stay home if you’re sick. If you’re feeling sick, you should stay home and away from others.
- Get tested for COVID-19. Every household in the U.S. is eligible to order 4 free at-home COVID-19 tests. To order, visit: https://www.covid.gov/tests
- Wash your hands. Washing your hands is a simple and important way to prevent the spread of viruses like RSV, flu, and COVID-19.
- Wear a mask. Wearing a high-quality, well-fitting mask is an effective way to reduce the spread of respiratory illnesses. It is recommended to wear a mask indoors in crowded settings and if you are experiencing symptoms.
- Contact your health care provider. Consult your health care provider if you have questions about testing and treatment, especially if you or your child are at high risk for complications from flu, RSV, or COVID-19. There are effective treatments available for COVID-19 and flu infections, but both need to be started early in the course of illness to be effective.
Consider following these recommendations to protect yourself and others from the spread of serious illness.