In the heart of the Midwest winter season, COVID-19, flu, RSV, the common cold, and allergies seem to ramp up this time of the year. With similar symptoms among all the ailments, Advanced Practice Registered Nurse at OSF HealthCare, Katie Ringberg, offers tips in preventing illnesses and keeping yourself healthy:
“Washing your hands, hand hygiene is great even if you just have the hand sanitizer, that can make a big difference on the go. Avoiding close contact with sick people, so if you know you have a coworker or family member who is sick, limit contact or mask if you need to. Avoid touching your nose, eyes, especially while you are around sick people. It is hard to be aware of, but if you know you are going to be touching your nose or eyes, or eating, just be sure to be cleaning your hands beforehand and just keeping some awareness of those sorts of things. Cleaning surfaces, some disinfectants, that can always be helpful. As far as allergies, if you know that there is something in particular that triggers your allergies, you can try and limit that.”
Getting a flu vaccination also assists in prevention. The CDC recommends infants over the age of 6 months and all children and adults in getting a flu vaccine every year.