Title: Medical Expert Shares Tips to Stay Healthy This Holiday Season
Subtitle: Dr. Celine Gounder highlights key strategies to prevent the spread of respiratory illnesses
As the holiday season approaches, medical professionals are issuing warnings about the potential surge in respiratory illnesses such as RSV, COVID-19, and the flu. Dr. Celine Gounder, a medical contributor for CBS News, has shared important advice on how to avoid getting sick during this festive period.
1. Vaccinations: According to Dr. Gounder, it is not too late to get vaccinated against the flu and COVID-19 before the holidays. In addition, eligible individuals should consider getting an RSV shot, particularly older adults and babies who are more vulnerable to this illness.
2. Monoclonal Antibodies: Infants under the age of 6 months can receive a monoclonal antibody for RSV, while another monoclonal antibody is available for infants aged 8-19 months. These antibodies can be effective in preventing severe RSV symptoms.
3. RSV Vaccine: Pregnant individuals at 32-36 weeks of pregnancy and elderly people can receive an RSV vaccine, which can offer protection against this respiratory illness.
4. Recognizing RSV Symptoms: Initially, RSV symptoms may resemble those of a common cold, such as sniffles and coughing. However, it can progress to more severe conditions like pneumonia. Dr. Gounder advises parents to closely monitor young children for elevated temperatures, breathing difficulties, or any discoloration under their nails or on their lips, as these are signs of a serious illness.
5. Indoor Air Ventilation: Improving indoor air ventilation is crucial in preventing the spread of respiratory illnesses. Experts recommend opening doors and windows whenever possible and investing in an air filtration unit to enhance air quality.
6. Mask-Wearing: Wearing masks in public places, particularly on public transit or in crowded areas, significantly reduces the risk of contracting respiratory illnesses. Dr. Gounder emphasizes the importance of this preventive measure.
7. Spreading Illness: If someone does get sick, wearing a mask in public can help prevent the spread of illness to others. To support this, the US government is providing free COVID tests for every household, allowing individuals to assess their health and ensure they do not unknowingly spread respiratory illnesses.
To avail of these COVID tests offered by the US government, households who did not previously order tests during fall can now receive eight free tests. This initiative aims to empower individuals in taking responsible steps to protect themselves and others.
By following these expert tips, individuals can stay healthy and enjoy a safe holiday season while minimizing the risk of respiratory illnesses. Remember, prevention is key in our ongoing battle against these contagious diseases.
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