CLEVELAND, Ohio (WKBN) — As the weather cools down and more people head indoors, the risk of respiratory viruses is expected to increase. So how you can prevent getting sick, especially as we approach the holiday season?
Experts say we’ll only continue to see cases of viruses like the flu, COVID-19 and RSV. Dr. Kristin Englund, an infectious disease specialist for the Cleveland Clinic, says when these viruses start to act together –just like they were concerned about the ‘tripledemic’ last year — hospitals can fill up with a lot of sick people which can overwhelm the system.
Dr. Englund says there are safety measures that everyone should be practicing just as we did during the pandemic. This includes washing your hands frequently, sanitizing high-touch areas and staying home when sick.
“We want to make sure that we are protecting ourselves not only from getting sick but also getting hospitalized from each and every one of those viruses,” Dr. Englund said.
Dr. Englund recommends getting vaccinated for each of the viruses if you’re eligible. Currently, the RSV vaccine is available for pregnant women to help protect their newborns, babies younger than 8 months old, and adults over 60.
A new COVID-19 vaccine was designed specifically for the current variant circulating.
“Unfortunately, COVID continues to mutate, so the prior vaccines that we’ve had are no longer effective against COVID. This new vaccine is really important in addressing the most recent variant,” Dr. Englund said.
Both Moderna and Pfizer offer new versions of the COVID-19 vaccine. Dr. Englund says you can mix and match, which means if you previously received the Moderna vaccine, it’s perfectly OK to get Pfizer this time around.