The community spread of Influenza (flu), COVID-19, and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) continues. Dr. Oscar Karbi, Emergency Medicine physician at William Osler Health System, shares his five tips to prevent respiratory illnesses and break the chain of infection:
Vaccinations against the flu, COVID-19 and RSV are available in our community. Make sure you are up to date with all eligible vaccines to prevent getting sick. Check with your family physician or pharmacist for eligibility and get your shots today.
Wash your hands.
Frequent hand washing at all times is an excellent way to prevent spreading, and getting, a respiratory illness. Wash your hands when they are visibly dirty, after handling or touching high-traffic fixtures like door handles, and after coughing or blowing your nose. Good hand washing habits include using warm water and soap, lathering and rubbing all parts of your hands, and rinsing and drying them well. When water and soap are not available, use hand sanitizer to keep your hands clean.
Wear a mask more often.
Wearing a mask is the best way to protect yourself and those around you from spreading infectious respiratory illnesses. Whenever possible, wear a well fitted mask when indoors or in close contact with others outside of your immediate family.
Keep the air fresh.
When gathering with others indoors, good ventilation helps protect against the spread of respiratory illnesses. Air circulation replaces indoor air with outdoor air, which reduces the number of infectious particles settling indoors. When possible, ensure windows and doors are opened regularly or turn on your heating system fan to improve circulating fresh air throughout rooms.
If you are sick, stay home.
Sharing isn’t always caring! If you are sick or have symptoms of a respiratory illness, stay home. Missing work, a social gathering or an event is hard for everyone, but it’s the best way to prevent the further spread of your illness and protect others. Stay home, rest and get better.