Over the last few years, hospital workers have typically had only one respiratory illness to focus their work on – COVID. Patients that are hospitalized due to respiratory diseases like RSV, the flu, and pneumonia (unrelated to COVID cases) were actually quite rare. Unfortunately, bugs are now back. Since the early fall, rates of these conditions have spiked in a lot of states. By mid-December, there were about 13 million cases of the flu, and over 120,00 hospitalizations, and around 7,300 deaths, according to the CDC. These numbers are a bit higher than average, and the bulk of the flu season has still yet to arrive.
RSV, otherwise known as respiratory syncytial virus, usually affects children, and most children will catch RSV before age 2. But for various years, RSV numbers have been low because of homeschooling and masking during the height of the pandemic. This year though, with kids back in person at their schools and few masking requirements, RSV has returned. RSV can also affect older folks, leading to pneumonia and bronchitis and raising the potential risk for hospitalization. Every year it causes around 6,000 and 10,000 deaths among adults that are aged 65 years and older.
COVID cases are also on the rise again, despite experts predicting a much milder caseload for this winter. Cases spiked a couple of weeks after Thanksgiving, causing about 30,000 hospitalizations. One other spike is expected this month after the holidays, and when it’s combined with RSV and the flu, the COVID situation is a concern. Read on to learn how to stay safe from the tripledemic!
How Can You Stay Safe and Healthy?
Beyond the routine vaccines and other usual health measures, there are other things you can to do to reduce your risk of catching these three respiratory illnesses. They will sound familiar since you probably employed some or all of them during the earliest days of the COVID pandemic. They are:
- Washing your hands quite often with water and soap. Alcohol-based cleaners are a solid substitute if you can’t wash them.
- Stay at home when you can and avoid crowded public areas.
- Consider masking if you go out in public and especially if you are traveling by train, bus, or plane. Particularly if the area you live in or traveling to has higher rates of COVID, RSV, or the flu.
- Practice good oral hygiene. This can help protect you from the germs in your mouth, which could cause infections. Brush all of your teeth at least two times a day and see your dentist every six months. This could also protect your heart!
Catonsville Dental Care is The Best Choice for Your Dental Health
Catonsville Dental Care offers a wide variety of services when it comes to oral health. We have the experience and understanding to diagnose and treat any problem you have as quickly and painlessly as possible. With four dentists available at our office and a commitment to comfort, safety, and relaxation, you can’t find a better provider for your health. We look forward to helping you keep your smile perfect all year long and talking with you about your needs. To schedule an appointment or consultation, visit us online or give us a call at 410-747-1115. For more tips and tricks, follow us on Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, and YouTube.