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3 Strategies for Protecting High-Risk Loved Ones from Respiratory Viruses

3 Strategies for Protecting High-Risk Loved Ones from Respiratory Viruses

Under normal circumstances, getting a respiratory virus like COVID-19, the flu, or RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) can be an uncomfortable experience. However, for those who are considered high-risk, these respiratory viruses can pose a more serious threat.

Unfortunately, these viruses continue to make their unwelcome rounds through our population — in the last month alone (April 2024), there were more than 1.2 million cases of COVID-19.

If you have a loved one who might not fare so well with a respiratory viral infection, you want to do what you can to help them breathe easier. Well, the team here at Temecula Medical Group, including Dr. Richard H. Rawson, Ryan D. Rowan, PA-C, and Armanda L. Alvarez, FNP-C, wants to share a few great strategies that can help boost your preventive healthcare.

Who’s at higher risk when it comes to respiratory viruses?

During the global pandemic just four years ago, we heard a lot about people at higher risk for developing severe illness on the heels of a respiratory virus, and we want to review those criteria here.

The CDC considers the following segments to be high-risk:

While these are general categories, we’re going to add specific lung issues since we’re talkin g about respiratory viruses. For example, someone with asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or other lung- or breathing-related issues should do what they can to avoid getting a respiratory virus.

Best practices for protecting those at high risk

Now, let's discuss some great strategies for avoiding respiratory virus infection and best practices for handling a respiratory virus infection in your loved one.  

1. Get immunized

One of your first lines of defense against respiratory viruses is immunization. We offer updated flu and COVID-19 vaccines here at our practice each year. There’s also an RSV vaccine that can help older adults avoid serious illness.

While these vaccines may not offer 100% protection, they can make a big difference for at-risk populations by reducing the threat of infection and serious illness.

2. Keep up with personal protection

When COVID-19 struck, we all got a crash course on protecting against infection, and we suggest that your high-risk loved one continues with these practices, which include:

We also want to add that common sense plays a huge role. For example, think twice before bringing your high-risk loved ones out into crowds where respiratory droplets from many people are airborne.

3. Get the right concierge medical team

One of the services we highlight here at Temecula Medical Group is our concierge medicine, which is perfect for people who are at high risk. Through this customized care, we can ensure that all the protections are in place to minimize the risk of respiratory infections in your loved one.

Should your loved one become infected, you have immediate and 24/7 access to our team for early care to prevent the illness from becoming severe and prolonged. For example, antiviral therapies that we can prescribe within 5 days of infection can significantly reduce the risks of serious illness.

With a little effort and the right team in your corner through our concierge services, your loved one should be well protected against respiratory illnesses. If you’d like to learn more, please contact our Temecula, California office to set up an appointment or visit our clinic from 8:30am to 5:30pm, Monday through Friday.

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