It’s cold and flu season, but families are being hit extra hard this year.
In fact, according to Yale Medicine, the U.S. is experiencing a huge uptick in cases of respiratory syncytial virus, flu, and COVID-19.
The increase in those three ailments combined is being called the “tripledemic.”
So far, 44 states are reporting “very high” or “high” levels of the flu, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well increased levels of COVID-19 and RSV.
Dr. Edith Bracho-Sanchez, a pediatrician at Columbia University, is offering up some medical advice to safely make it through the holiday season.
In an interview with Good Morning America, Dr. Bracho-Sanchez recalled a “really really scary” moment when her own son was suffering from a viral illness that left them in the hospital.
She said, “In addition to relating to my patients, of course, as their pediatrician, I am relating in this moment as a mom who has had her own child get sick and develop a complication from a viral illness this season.”
Bracho-Sanchez revealed to Good Morning America that she’s taking 6 steps to help protect her own son during the “tripledemic.” The 6 steps aren’t just applicable to her family, but they can be used by families around the country:
1. Staying up-to-date with vaccinations.
Vaccinations for COVID-19 and influenza are readily available across the country.
2. Watching for symptoms and responding appropriately.
Don’t wait to seek treatment for your child.
3. Limiting indoor gatherings.
Having people gather together inside can be fun and festive, but it’s also a quick way to spread germs.
4. Wearing face masks.
Face masks can help keep your nose warm and also reduce the number of germs that are spread.
5. Staying home when sick.
This one should go without saying, but you’d be surprised.
6. Practicing proper hygiene, like handwashing.
Washing your hands with warm water and soap can do wonders for preventing the spread of germs.
Hopefully by following these tips, we can all stay a little bit healthier this season.Whizzco