Staying safe during respiratory virus season
We’ve put together a few things you should keep in mind to keep yourself and your family safe during respiratory virus season.
Respiratory viruses are with us all year long but tend to spike as fall and winter. There is no official start date, which mean that now is the right time to make sure you are ready for when the three most common viruses (flu, COVID-19 and RSV) are at their peak.
Make sure you and your loved ones are up-to-date on flu and COVID-19 vaccine. And see if the RSV vaccine is right for you.
To schedule a flu vaccination:
To schedule a COVID-19 vaccination:
Learn about preventing RSV
Other ways to help prevent sickness during respiratory virus season
Skip the gathering if you or someone else is feeling unwell
Many of us look forward to the holidays and the time spent with our families. But if you or someone else is feeling unwell, you risk transmitting an illness to your loved ones.
If you’re feeling unwell, play it safe and skip the gathering in order to protect yourself and your family.
Wash your hands frequently
Frequently clean your hands—either by washing them with soap and water or using hand sanitizer.
Although this can be tough at family gatherings, try to avoid crowding when possible. This will help limit the transmission of germs and lower the risk of contracting an illness.
Protect young children
For some respiratory illnesses—like RSV—young children are especially vulnerable.
If you have a newborn, you may consider limiting visitors during RSV season. Ensure any visitors are healthy, wash their hands when they enter your house and before holding the baby, and refrain from kissing your baby. You might also ask visitors to wear a mask to further reduce risk.
Limit sharing of cups or utensils
Do not share cups or utensils.
This is always a best practice as it limits the transmission of germs and bacteria that can cause illness.
Cover your cough
If you have to cough, make sure to practice the “vampire cough” and tuck your hand into your chest and cough into the crook of your elbow.
It’s a good idea to wash your hands—or use hand sanitizer—immediately following your cough.
You may also consider wearing a face mask to help prevent the spread of germs and bacteria.
Disinfect high-touch surfaces
Use disinfectant sprays and wipes frequently to kill any germs that may be lurking on high-touch surfaces such as doorknobs and handles, light switches, and cabinets.