Safety Tips for COVID-19 and Other Winter Illnesses on the Rise

Safety Tips for COVID-19 and Other Winter Illnesses on the Rise

Winter has arrived in Southern California, and with the shorter days and cooler temperatures comes cold, flu, and virus season. This year, we also face the added difficulty of fast-spreading COVID-19

At Temecula Medical Group, located in Temecula, California, Dr. Richard H. Rawson and our team of providers offer a comprehensive line of services to help keep you and your family in the pink of health all year long. Our team also knows the importance of patient education so you can take the preventive action needed to stay bug-free this winter. 

Keep reading to learn how you can protect yourself and your family by following our safety tips for COVID-19 and other winter illnesses. 

Don’t forget your flu shot

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strongly recommends every person six months of age and older get a flu shot every year. The team at Temecula Medical Center offers flu vaccines as part of our comprehensive primary and concierge care. 

This year, with medical providers and hospital staff stretched too thin by rising COVID-19 cases, it’s especially important to get your flu shot and help slow the spread of this viral disease. Although getting your flu vaccine in early fall is the optimal time, it’s not too late to schedule your shot. 

Keep your hands clean

Viruses can live on surfaces you touch — sometimes for more than a week! If you touch the surface then touch your face, these tiny particles can infect you through your nose, mouth, or eyes. The same is true if you touch an infected person’s hands. 

To safeguard your health, keep your hands clean by washing them with hot water and soap, especially:

When you can't get to a sink to wash with soap and water, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that’s at least 60% alcohol

Focus on respiratory hygiene

Everyone knows that when you cough or sneeze, you should cover your mouth and nose. This is because coughing and sneezing are the fastest ways people spread viruses, like the cold, flu, and COVID-19. 

Do your part to stop the spread by focusing on practicing good respiratory hygiene. Cover up with a tissue when possible, and be sure to throw it away immediately. If you don’t have a tissue, cover your sneeze or cough with your bent elbow. 

Avoid close contact

Keeping your distance from other people can prevent winter viruses from spreading. If you can avoid close contact by not shaking hands, hugging, or kissing people outside your household, you can reduce your risk of getting infected. 

Keep in mind that this may also mean avoiding as much contact as possible with surfaces that can carry viruses, like phones, door knobs or handles, handrails, and public computers. When it’s impossible to avoid contact, be sure to clean your hands as soon as possible. 

Wear a face covering

A simple way to safeguard against winter viruses is to keep your nose and mouth covered when you’re around other people. The CDC explains that to slow the spread of COVID-19, everyone ages two and up should wear the most protective mask possible when in an indoor public place, since you can spread COVID-19 even when you’re not feeling sick. 

Although COVID-19 is the reason we’re wearing masks indoors, the good news is that wearing a face covering also offers you protection against other viruses, like the flu and cold. So remember to cover up when you’re in an indoor public location or around people who haven’t been fully vaccinated. 

When you feel sick, don’t go out

It’s never a good idea to go out if you’re unwell, but with highly contagious COVID-19 variants spreading, it’s more important than ever to stay home if you have symptoms of a respiratory infection. Keep in mind that the flu and COVID-19 can share similar symptoms, and you can spread viruses even if you don’t have symptoms. 

Get medical help

If you have symptoms of the flu or COVID-19, contact your provider at Temecula Medical Group as soon as possible. Our team offers special testing to accurately diagnose your illness and provides personalized recommendations on the actions you can take to recover as quickly as possible. For patients who need immediate help, we also offer urgent care services. 

To learn more about how you can protect yourself from COVID-19 and other winter viruses, schedule an appointment over the phone or online with a provider at Temecula Medical Group. You can also request a flu or COVID-19 test appointment by using our online booking tool. 

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