The holiday season is an exciting time of year, but it’s also the season of respiratory illnesses like the cold or flu. Many of the seasonal illnesses are passed from person to person through food or contact, which is why it is very important to try to protect yourself by practicing good hygiene. The best way to prevent the flu is to get your annual flu shot. Even if you do get the flu after getting your flu shot, you will be less likely to spread it since you’ve had the vaccine and you’ll recover faster.
Regular hand washing is also a very important part of stopping the spread of germs. Remember to wash your hands thoroughly throughout your travels after coughing or sneezing, visiting the restroom, shopping, or attending holiday parties. Anytime you need to cough or sneeze, cover your mouth completely within your elbow to help keep your hands germ-free.
Norovirus, a gastrointestinal virus generally referred to as a stomach bug, can also be common during this time of year and leads to nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and fever. If you do get sick— especially if you have a high fever or other flu-like symptoms—please stay at home. If you are experiencing symptoms of the flu, schedule an appointment with your primary care doctor or go to urgent care as soon as possible. Cone Health has an exceptional network of primary care providers and urgent care facilities throughout the area. Visit http://www.conehealth.com to find a doctor or urgent care facility near you.
Dr. Cynthia Snider is an infectious diseases specialist and clinical assistant professor of medicine at Cone Health. She earned her medical degree at the University of Utah in 2005, where she had the opportunity to do research in Uganda with adolescents born with HIV. Dr. Snider completed her internal medicine residency and infectious diseases fellowship at the University of Virginia. During fellowship, she pursued her interest in global health by conducting research in diarrheal and respiratory illnesses in children in Bangladesh. She is a member of the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the Society of Healthcare Epidemiology of America. Her clinical interests in infectious diseases include HIV medicine, global health/travel medicine, and hospital epidemiology.