In the coming weeks and months, many of us will travel, gather with people, visit friends and relatives, and go out to shop even more. COVID-19 is still among us, as are influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). Before you travel, gather, visit, and shop, please take a moment to think about what you can do to prepare to protect yourself and the people around you.
Here are a few timely questions we have received, answered by UMTC Campus Public Health Officer Dr, Jakub Tolar, MD, PhD.
What should I do if I’m going to travel?
- See the CDC recommendations on travel. If you’re traveling in the U.S., view this state-by-state guide to COVID-19 infection levels, or one at the county level.
- Get a flu shot as soon as possible. Available at clinics and pharmacies statewide.
- Ensure your COVID-19 vaccines are current, including the new bivalent booster. Vaccines are available at clinics and pharmacies statewide.
- Wash your hands thoroughly or use hand sanitizer, and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- If you are at high risk of complications, wear a high-quality, well-fitted mask indoors around others.
What should I do if I feel sick?
- Stay home.
- Get tested. Tests and treatments are available for COVID-19, flu, and RSV at clinics and hospitals.
- If positive, follow CDC isolation guidelines and see your healthcare provider for treatment.
- Wear a high-quality, well-fitted mask indoors around others.
How do I know whether I have (or someone else has) COVID-19, the flu, RSV, or just a cold?
- These are all respiratory infections caused by viruses and sometimes difficult to tell apart. Tests are available to determine the type of virus.
- Cold (rhinovirus) symptoms
- Flu (influenza) symptoms (Not viral gastroenteritis or “stomach flu”)
- RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) symptoms and how it spreads. Some children and older adults are at high risk of serious complications.
- COVID-19 symptoms
- CDC guide comparing cold vs. flu
- Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles guide comparing these four viruses
Anything else I should know?