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Winter Wellness - Winter Viruses

January 2, 2024

Whether it’s a common cold, the flu, COVID-19 or respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) spreading through our homes, schools and workplaces, it’s hard to make it through the winter unscathed. But there are things you can do to prevent some illnesses and to help stop the spread.

For the first time, this year we have immunizations for RSV. Adults over the age of 60 should talk to their doctor about whether the RSV vaccine is right for them. All pregnant women should receive the RSV vaccine between weeks 32 and 36 of pregnancy. Newborns whose mothers did not receive the RSV vaccine may qualify for an antibody shot to prevent RSV.

Public health authorities still recommend that everyone be tested for COVID-19 if they have even mild respiratory symptoms like sore throat, runny nose, nasal congestion or cough.

Use of a home antigen test is fine, but know that a negative test doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in the clear. It can take a few days to turn positive after symptoms begin.

Be careful around high-risk people if you have any respiratory symptoms. A mask is a good way to add another layer of protection for others. It’s good to have a plan with your doctor so you know what you will do if you test positive for COVID-19.

Questions to ask include: Will you qualify for treatment? What antiviral is best for you? How will you get it?

If you don’t have COVID-19, it’s usually not necessary to take a test to determine what virus you have, and better to stay home until you feel better.

Visit the CDC page here for treatment resource support.

Getting an annual flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from the flu.

Are you at higher risk of flu complications? Information for specific higher-risk groups can be found here.

For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, RSV, the flu, as well as other viruses please visit

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