How To Prevent Winter Illnesses This Holiday Season

Tiani Jadulang

As the holiday season approaches, most neighbors find themselves developing signs of a winter cold. This year, Riverside County residents battle three different infectious diseases… the flu, respiratory syncytial virus, and Covid-19.

“I think what we want people to understand is that you know… we’re seeing a surge of infections that’s related to a few different viruses all at the same time.” says Dr. Geoffrey Leung, Riverside County’s Public Health Officer.

As the flu, Respiratory Syncytial Virus, and Covid-19 continues to spread throughout the county, Dr. Geoffrey Leung says Riverside County’s also seeing an increase in common colds and infections that are frequent around the winter months.

This comes after the California Department of Public Health reported the first child death caused from the flu and RSV.

“RSV is a fairly contagious infection that can affect both kids and adults. Usually when adults get it, the symptoms are much more mild.” Dr. Leung states.

He says RSV can be very serious for those under the ages of one or two years old, but urges the elderly community and those who have underlying conditions to take caution.

Multiethnic Press Secretary, Yurina Melara shares other reasons as to how people tend to catch viruses during the winter months. 

“So in the winter months as  the weather is getting cooler, our behavior changes… we tend to be more indoors.” Melara shares.

By being indoors, she says we tend to get closer to one another and oftentimes without enough air circulation, the chance of viruses attacking our respiratory system increases.

Dr. Leung says there are a few things residents can do to decrease the chances of getting sick.

“The first thing is making sure that you and your family have had all of your vaccinations, including vaccines for the Covid booster and for influenza. You know good hand hygiene… making sure that we’re washing our hands and making sure that when we are sick… even if it  isn’t Covid you know we try to keep our kids at home, we try to stay home from work, you know that would really reduce the risk for other people.” Dr. Leung states.

Now Dr. Leung says a number of things are happening throughout the region, the Riverside County Public Health System is doing their best to help educate residents, before the holiday season.

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