TThe so-called “triad” of the year—particularly bad season for Covid-19, the flu, and the flu. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)– He rose with vengeance, and no part of the country was spared. In particular, the incidence of influenza has skyrocketed The flu months are many months away. As of 2011 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)About 9 million people in the US have the flu, and 78,000 have been hospitalized (but all three viruses can be serious for susceptible people). If the sniffles and sneezes around you are any indication, the common cold is also trending in the wrong, crowded direction. Therefore, it makes sense to prevent yourself and others from catching the flu, flu, RSV or covid this season.

The best ways will probably be well known or poorly known. Many of the habits we adopted (sometimes begrudgingly) during the Covid pandemic will protect us from various diseases in the coming months. Charles Bailey, M.D. Infection Prevention Medical Director at Providence St. Joseph and Providence Mission Hospitalin Orange County, CA.

No one is more exposed to viruses and germs than frontline healthcare workers. You may not be able to completely eliminate your risk of catching a cold, flu, or other viruses, but you can greatly reduce your chances with these tips.

1. Get vaccinated against flu (and in addition to covid).

For Dr. Bailey, this one is a no-brainer. “Of course, getting up-to-date on influenza and the Covid-19 vaccine are special precautions you can take,” he said.

At a recent news conference, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said this year’s flu vaccine is A “A great match.” For a strain of virus that is currently circulating nationally. This translates into targeted protection that can keep you from getting infected or hospitalized.

It’s over 90 percent Doctors, nurses and pharmacists suffer from the flu every year. So, if you really want to follow the science, you’d better roll up your sleeves (yet again) to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Remember, it takes two weeks before full protection from a vaccine kicks in.

2. Engage in frequent hand washing

Hand washing is important to prevent colds and flu and prevent the spread of germs. But there is a right way and a wrong way to do this simple task. Here’s how to practice hand hygiene as a medical professional:

  1. Use warm water and soap to wash your hands.
  2. Wash all areas of your fingers and hands up to the wrists for at least 15 to 20 seconds.
  3. Make sure to get under your nails and wash the spaces between each finger.
  4. If hand washing is not an option, use an alcohol-based cleaner.
  5. Once you clean, try to keep your hands away from your mouth and nose.

3. Clean phones and other devices

If your phone and computer are in constant use (and you know they are), they are. Pulled by germs. For this reason, experts in Federal Communications Commission They recommend practicing phone hygiene once a day.

Use a lint-free cloth slightly dampened with soap and water to clean your device. Do not wash your device with liquid or you may damage it. And this goes without saying, but don’t try to clean it when it’s plugged.

4. Avoid congestion as much as possible

Isolation in recent years, this can be difficult. To keep it simple, try taking Dr. Bailey’s advice to avoid as many people as possible, especially if you’re in poorly ventilated indoor spaces. This frees you up for winter fun without the stress of the outdoors (think holiday markets, ice skating, and window shopping with friends).

5. When in doubt, wear a mask

If you’ve already thrown away your KN95s, consider getting a new box. Unless you’re immunocompromised or caring for someone at high risk for illness, you may not feel the need to wear a mask at all times. However, this simple intervention can reduce the spread of the virus and provide protection to those in contact.

Consider keeping a mask in your purse or pocket if necessary. Instead of wondering when you’ll find yourself on an overcrowded bus, or around someone who can’t stop coughing, Will this be when you get sick? You can block out stress by masking it.

After all, protecting yourself and others from a cold or flu is all about effort. Dr. Bailey said, “I personally have and will continue to follow all of the above recommendations. At least I can take comfort in knowing that if I do get sick, I won’t be able to use this common sense, evidence-based advice.

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