PORTLAND, Ore. – Ahead of holiday season gatherings, Oregon health experts are urging people to take precautions amid a “triple threat” of viruses, including flu, COVID, and RSV.
Dr. Bill Messer, an associate professor of molecular biology and immunology at Oregon Health & Science University, recommends washing hands and covering coughs and sneezes to reduce the chance of making others sick.
“Let’s go back to the basics, so the basics are good cough hygiene, sneeze hygiene – sharing the bend of your arm – washing hands before and after eating, or any kind of social contact. or social interaction is very helpful to avoid. there is a lot of transmission of respiratory viruses and bacteria, especially those that are spread through droplets,” explained Dr. Messer.
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He also recommends keeping your hands away from your face to avoid transmitting the virus.
“Another thing that’s different at the next level that we don’t always think about, is to keep our hands out of our eyes, out of our mouths, out of our noses, because that’s where our mucus membranes are most vulnerable. get infected,” Messer added.
He added that wearing a mask in large gatherings such as airports, and public transportation can protect others from viruses.
In addition, Messer said that good air circulation can act as a preventive measure to prevent disease.
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“Back to COVID, we talked a lot about air circulation, and we spend a lot of time outside. I don’t know that people should have Thanksgiving outside on the deck, but things like maintaining good circulation in air in your rooms, an open window, fans, air purifiers, all keep the air moving, all improve air circulation in. a room and reduce the possibility of spreading some pathogens that fry especially in rooms that are closed and have little air circulation,” Messer said.
The triple threat comes after the Oregon Health Authority urged parents to be careful amid a shortage of RSV vaccines for infants.
The US government is also sending another round of four home COVID tests ahead of the usual surge during the holiday season, as reported by the Associated Press.
Messer recommends Americans get tested for COVID-19, especially if they spend the holidays with people who are more vulnerable to the virus including infants, the elderly, and people with underlying health conditions.
“This is a triple threat. No one has declared himself as the primary triple threat, but we know from recent experience that this holiday season will certainly bring one or more of it on top and do everything we can to limit the impact on ourselves and our family members and friends that we mostly see now during the holidays, we have to watch that,” said Messer.