(WHTM) — As the weather cools down and more people head indoors, the risk for certain respiratory viruses – like the flu, RSV and COVID-19– is expected to increase.
“When those viruses start to act together, as we were concerned about the ‘tripledemic’ last year, our hospitals can fill up with a lot of sick people and that can overwhelm the system. So, we want to make sure that we are protecting ourselves not only from getting sick but also getting hospitalized from each and every one of those viruses,” Dr. Kristin Englund at the Cleveland Clinic said.
Dr. Englund says we should be practicing the same kind of safety measures that we did during the pandemic.
For example, regularly washing your hands, sanitizing high-touch areas, and staying home when sick.
She also recommends getting vaccinated for each of the viruses, if you’re eligible.
Right now, the RSV vaccine is available to pregnant women to help protect their newborns, babies younger than eight months old, as well as adults over 60.
The flu vaccine and COVID vaccine are also available.
The new COVID vaccine was designed specifically for the current variant circulating, which Dr. Englund says is important.
“Unfortunately, COVID continues to mutate, so the prior vaccines that we’ve had are no longer effective against COVID. This new vaccine is really important to be addressing this most recent variant of omicron,” she said.
Both Moderna and Pfizer offer new versions of the COVID vaccine. Dr. Englund says you can mix-and-match – meaning if you previously had a Moderna vaccine, it’s okay to get Pfizer this time around.