Basic tips to keep healthy as flu, RSV and COVID-19 cases rise

As experts warn of a rise in flu, RSV and COVID-19 cases this holiday season, here are some very basic tips for people to keep themselves and their loved ones healthy.

Stay home

Dr. Keri Althoff, associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, says it’s important to stay home if you’re sick.

“And do what you can to keep the virus away from other family members or household members,” Althoff says.

Mask and give some distance

Althoff says if you’re in a heavily populated indoor public place, consider masking and giving six feet of space to others.

Parents should be aware of their multiple absences caused by illnesses in their children’s classrooms.

“Consider having your child wear a mask until the wave slows in that classroom,” said Althoff.

Be aware of those more vulnerable

If you visit an older loved one, especially over the age of 55, Althoff says you may want to test yourself for COVID-19.

“Particularly if it’s at a residential facility, please do an at-home test for yourself,” Althoff said. Additionally, she says people should wash their hands before touching any babies.

“Be sure that the only people who are touching or getting close to your baby are those who have washed their hands and potentially even wearing masks to ensure that they are not inadvertently transmitted transmitting influenza or RSV,” she said.


Dr. Althoff said good ventilation is crucial to keeping people safe during gatherings.

“Make sure that you are moving your holiday celebrations outdoors, or to well-ventilated areas,” she said.

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