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Protect yourself & others from a respiratory virus: RSV, Flu & COVID-19

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Take care and take action to protect yourself and others from respiratory viruses.

Read on to learn how to reduce your chance of catching or spreading a respiratory virus – such as COVID-19, flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). You can take action to protect yourself and others, whether or not you're at high risk of severe illness.  

 

About these contagious respiratory viruses

COVID-19 spreads quickly. Most people have mild symptoms, and some people become severely ill. People who are older, pregnant or have a chronic disease are at a higher risk for getting severely ill. A vaccine for ages 6 months and older helps prevent and reduce the severity of COVID-19. 

Flu infects the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. Symptoms vary from mild to severe. Flu can be serious, especially for people younger than 5, older than 65, pregnant, or with a chronic disease. A vaccine for everyone ages 6 months and older helps prevent and reduce the severity of flu. 

RSV usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms. Most people recover in a week or two. RSV can be serious, especially for babies and older adults - both have a higher chance of being hospitalized. A vaccine during pregnancy and for people 60 years and older helps prevent and reduce the severity RSV.  

 

Ways to keep healthy this fall and winter 

There are multiple tools you can use to lower your chances of catching or spreading a respiratory virus. These tools can also reduce your likelihood of getting very sick if you do catch a virus. 

  1. Get vaccinated. Vaccines are the safest way to build immunity from a virus. Vaccines help the body learn how to defend itself from disease without the dangers of an infection. If you are…

         - 6 months or older – get the annual flu shot and the updated COVID-19 vaccine. 
         - Pregnant – get a flu shot and the updated COVID-19 vaccine during any trimester, and get the RSV vaccine between weeks 32-36.
         - 60 years or older – ask your healthcare provider if the RSV vaccine is right for you.
    Call 440-284-3206 to schedule a vaccine appointment with LCPH at our main office in Elyria, or at a satellite vaccine site in Lorain and Wellington. Or visit a nearby pharmacy or your healthcare provider. 

  2. Stay home if you’re sick. If you’re feeling sick, you should stay home and away from others.
         - Learn symptoms of respiratory diseases, and how to care for someone with: COVID-19, flu, RSV 

  3. Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your shirt sleeve, not your hands. 

  4. Wash your hands. Washing your hands is a simple and important way to prevent the spread of viruses like RSV, flu, and COVID-19. Read more from the CDC about how and when to wash your hands and how to clean surfaces

  5. Contact your healthcare provider. Consult your healthcare provider if you have questions about testing and treatment, especially if you or someone you care for is at high risk for complications from flu, RSV, or COVID-19.
         - There are effective treatments for both COVID-19 and flu, but both need to be started quickly after getting sick to be effective.
         - And your healthcare provider can help you manage symptoms of RSV if you or your child are sick. 

 

Get details and data about these respiratory viruses.