Tis the season to bundle up, spend more time indoors, and enjoy family and friends over the holiday season. Unfortunately for some, it is also the time of colds, flu, COVID and RSV. We are already seeing an increase in flu activity across Genesee and Orleans Counties.
Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every year. “The flu vaccine is a safe and effective way to reduce the spread of the flu in the community, as well as decrease the risk of severe symptoms,” stated Paul Pettit, Public Health Director for Genesee and Orleans County Health Departments (GO Health). For those who are more at risk of serious complications of these respiratory viruses, it is important to talk with your primary care provider about the best way to protect themselves from illness. If you are sick, stay home! Wash your hands and sanitize shared items frequently. Take care of yourself by eating healthful foods, getting good sleep, regular exercise and drinking plenty of water, non-caffeinated or non-alcoholic beverages. If you are a smoker or someone who vapes, that increases your risk of upper respiratory viruses.
If you are at high risk, consider that the more people you are exposed to, the more likely you are to get a virus. During this time of year, it is important to stay connected with family and friends, so be creative in how you do that. If the weather is good, spend time with family outdoors snowshoeing, hiking, and cross-country skiing.
For more information about the flu activity in New York State, visit https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/influenza/seasonal/