With a trifecta of COVID-19, flu, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) circulating, and hospitalizations from flu at their highest levels in a decade, the need is great to protect our most vulnerable populations – seniors and children. Increased socializing and crowded indoor gatherings during the holidays will put more people at risk of getting sick.
APIC recommends basic infection prevention actions to protect ourselves and vulnerable loved ones this holiday season:
Get vaccinated. The bivalent (or “updated) COVID-19 vaccine booster and the flu vaccines are formulated to work against the strains that are spreading and can help protect against severe hospitalization and death. Vaccination also protects those around us who may not produce a strong immune response or who may be too young to get vaccinated.
When in doubt, take the mask out. Practice respiratory etiquette: Wear a mask in crowded indoor settings, cover your cough, and keep your hands clean. Make sure children understand how to clean their hands.
See your healthcare provider as soon as symptoms develop. Contact your healthcare provider right away so that treatments can be started early in your illness when they will be most effective.
As we mark the 3rd anniversary of COVID-19, APIC also urges lawmakers to allocate resources for strong and visible infection prevention and control presence in facilities that house our most vulnerable to prevent needless suffering and death from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. By each doing our part to prevent the spread of infections, we can all enjoy a safer holiday season.