Traveling For The Holidays in 2022
It seems we have a lot more to worry about this holiday season than just who is on the naughty or nice list. We have yet another year of holidays being threatened by not only a “twindemic,” but by a “tripledemic.” COVID-19 and influenza decided to add another player to this year’s roster of rising illnesses; RSV (Respiratory syncytial virus). Hospitals have been overwhelmed with flu cases since early September, and it did not take long for RSV to spike quickly behind it. Health care providers are now expecting a rise in COVID-19 cases. Before we all start making plans to visit family members for the holidays, we need to know what we are dealing with and how to try to prevent the spread of it.
We hope that by this point into the flu season people are aware of the concerning number of cases we are experiencing here in the United States, if not we’re here to help. The flu virus is spreading at an alarming rate right now and many hospitals are overwhelmed with flu positive patients. The excessive number of cases is likely because we have ended COVID-19 protocols. As a society we no longer use masks or social distancing when in large crowds which prevented the spread of both COVID-19 and all other respiratory viruses.
As a reminder, if you are feeling any of the following symptoms make sure to get tested:
- Sore throat
- Runny/stuffy nose
- Body aches
- Vomiting/diarrhea (more common in children)
For more information about flu symtoms, treatments, and prevention here is the CDC website.
At Complete Health Partners, we want to remind everyone that the best way to prevent the spread of influenza is to get vaccinated as soon as possible. December may be approaching, but it is never too late to get a flu shot. At Complete Health Partners we have rapid flu tests and flu vaccines available at all 3 of our clinic locations.
Respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, is a common cold virus that can cause cold-like symptoms. Most people will typically recover from the virus in about a week. RSV can be more serious for children and the elderly; it could lead to complications like bronchiolitis or pneumonia. Unfortunately, we are seeing a lot that happening the United States, especially in children. Childrens’ Hospitals are finding themselves at capacity and lacking beds for sick kids.
Common symptoms for adults experiencing RSV include:
- Runny nose
- Decrease in appetite
- Coughing or sneezing
For more information about RSV symtoms, treatments, and prevention here is the CDC website.
Children can experience the same symptoms as adults. For very young infants it is important to note if they seem extremely irritable, like hours of incontrollable crying. Another indicator for parents to look for is apnea, pauses in breathing longer than 10 seconds. If your child is having trouble breathing, take them to an emergency room as soon as possible to be treated. If they are showing more mild symptoms like fever or runny nose an urgent care clinic is a suitable choice to get them tested. We offer a rapid RSV testing for children ages 5 and younger at our Nashville West and Hendersonville clinics. There is no vaccination available for the virus currently.
So far this holiday season the virus least talked about has been COVID-19. It may be less prevalent right now but it is still a threat. COVID-19 slowed down last summer but quickly surged after the holidays, we are again anticipating the same trend. Here are some common symptoms to look for before we all start to travel for the upcoming holidays:
- Sore throat
- Runny nose/congestion
- Body aches
- New loss of smell/taste
- Vomitting or diarrhea
For more information about COVID-19 symptoms, treatments, and prevention here is the CDC website.
We currently do not offer the COVID-19 vaccine at Complete Health Partners but here is an interactive map from the CDC to find a location near you offering vaccines. We do offer COVID-19 testing at all 3 of our clinic locations. Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself and your loved one from the virus.
The main thing to keep in mind before traveling for the holidays is get vaccinated if possible. This truly does help slow the spread of viruses like flu or COVID-19. If you are feeling any of the symptoms listed above, consider self-isolating and getting tested to determine the illness. When you gather with friends and family during this holiday season think about social distancing or wearing a mask if you are worried about catching a virus. And most importantly, do not kiss babies! RSV symptoms may not be prominent in adults but can be life threatening for children. And most importantly this holiday season, wash your hands frequently!
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